Relocation cases come about most frequently when a custodial parent petitions the court to allow a change of residence to a location that would interfere with the noncustodial parent’s parenting time. These can be incredibly emotional conflicts, as parents face the prospect of losing regular contact with their children. Ouren Law advocates strongly for noncustodial parents whose rights are threatened. Depending on the circumstances, I may be able to halt the move altogether by opposing the motion vigorously in family court. When enforcing the existing custody order is unrealistic, I look for creative solutions that allow parents to renegotiate their parenting plan to allow joint custody. I am determined to work for the best possible results under the facts of your case.
Family courts in Washington decide all custody cases based on the “best interests of the child.” Move-away cases are no different. The court considers the totality of the circumstances in the child’s life, weighing the following factors:
I build a comprehensive case that shows your relationship with your child in the best light possible.
Parental relocation cases come down to the question of whether the child will be better off living with the custodial parent in the new location, even if it burdens the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. If you want the court to answer no to that question, you must demonstrate that you are an active participant and a positive force in your child’s life. Courts look closely at a parent’s track record of involvement, so you should be able to demonstrate your bona fides in several ways:
Finally, confer with a family law attorney immediately upon learning of a possible move. This will allow you to craft a strategy that may include a motion to modify your existing parenting plan to give you sole custody or joint custody.
The process to oppose a move often involves in-depth custody evaluation by court-appointed psychologists and/or social workers. I guide you through every step of the process, providing the personalized legal counsel you need to achieve your goals.
Allowing your ex-spouse to move your children to a far location can unfairly burden your relationship with them. If you suspect your ex is planning such a move, you need a strategy to block the move or gain joint custody. To get an experienced family law attorney on your side, call Ouren Law at 509-783-5759 or contact my office online to schedule a consultation.