The unfortunate reality of divorce is that if the couple has kids, it’s the children that tend to suffer the most from divorce. When parents divorce, they may choose to live close enough to ensure the child has to undergo the least possible changes. However, in some cases this is either not an option or the parent just wants to leave the area for some other reason.
Sometimes it’s malicious, sometimes it’s necessary. Understanding your rights can be essential through this difficult process.
Georgia laws on relocation
It used to be easier for a parent to move with the minor children, and Courts generally did not change custody as a result of the primary custodial parent moving. It has become more common for Courts to consider factors in modifying custody and take a closer look at the circumstances of a parent moving. The judge will carefully look at the circumstances in each particular case without just allowing the child to move or transfer custody of the child.
A parent who decides to move a long distance away should be prepared to show the reasons for the move, and that it would still be in the best interest of the children for that parent to continue to have primary physical custody.
When relocation matters
If the parent is just moving across the city or within a close distance, this relocation isn’t a major deal as the other parent’s parenting time won’t be impacted. The problem comes when one parent wants to move to another state or some other far distance that could impact the other parent’s time with their child.
The Court will look at the circumstances and must determine what is in the best interest of the child or children. The reality of relocation is while it could potentially be in the best interest of the child, there are many other factors to consider. Relocation can have a significant impact on the child’s routine and can cause serious stress for the child or it may be better for the child for various reasons.
What you can do
Talking to a lawyer that specializes in these complex matters can be essential to letting you know what your rights are as a parent. Whether you are the relocating parent or the non-custodial parent, you do have rights in these matters. It’s important to discuss your options with an attorney, including what steps the non-custodial parent can take to keep their children close to them.