Residents of Washington state should understand the way courts consider custody decisions. That is particularly true when it comes to the idea of one parent leaving the state and possibly taking their children with them. While in some cases this is a practical step taken for work or family reasons, it can have huge consequences for the child and their relationship with the non-custodial parent. Because of that, family law courts weigh many factors in making decisions about allowing such a move.
Understanding the reasons for the proposed move
One of the factors the court will want to understand is why the custodial parent is proposing a move. Courts are often amenable to reasons like relocating due to a promotion, or doing so to be closer to elderly relatives or other family support groups. However, the court will want to make sure that one parent isn’t trying to alienate the other with a move.
What the court looks at
Custody and parenting are complicated. That’s always been true, even in traditional two-parent families. Before approving a relocation, the judge involved in the case will want to know what the relationship each parent to the child is like. The child’s age and ability to adjust will also be taken into account.
Finally, sometimes courts may suggest that the parties consider a solution other than out-of-state relocation. It truly does all depend on who the parents, children and judge in the case are. If you are a parent who shares custody and you’re thinking about relocating, it’s important to speak to a lawyer. An attorney may be able to help you understand how the court will see your request and the best way for you to present it.