There are several reasons why a divorced parent may wish to relocate with
their child. He or she may have a new job opportunity that will put them
in a better financial position. Or they may wish to remarry or move to
an area that is closer to extended family. Whatever the reason, however,
divorced parents can’t just pack up and move as easily as most people.
They must first consider how the relocation will affect child custody
and visitation arrangements.
Can I relocate with my child?
In Oregon, custodial parents are permitted to relocate up to 60 miles away
from the other parent without notifying the noncustodial parent, as long
as they stay within Oregon state. For moves more than 60 miles away or
across a state line, the custodial parent must obtain permission from
the other parent or successfully obtain a modification of the custody
order in court. If both parents cannot come to an agreement on their own,
the matter will have to be brought before a family court judge.
The parent who wishes to relocate will have to file a motion with the court
requesting a modification of the custody order. If they have sole custody,
they are considered to have a “presumptive right” to move
which can only be challenged if the other parent objects and can show
that the move would be against the best interests of the child.
In making a decision, the court will consider the following factors:
- The distance of the proposed move
- The reason for the move
- The child’s age
- The child’s relationship with both parents
- Other factors related to maintaining a stable environment for the child
Can I relocate if I am not the custodial parent?
If you are a non-custodial parent and you wish to relocate, you will want
to check with your attorney if you wish to move more than 60 miles away
or across state lines – you may need to get permission from your
co-parent or a court order if they object to your relocation.
Relocation cases can contain many complexities and are best faced with
the guidance of a qualified Portland family law attorney to ensure that
all issues are handled within the law. At McKinley Irvin, we will help
your family come up with an arrangement that protects your child’s
If you are considering a move with your child, McKinley Irvin can provide
you with valuable legal counsel. To schedule an evaluation of your case,
we invite you to
contact our office.