Relocating with Your Child After Divorce

Relocating with Your Child After DivorceThere 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 best interests.

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.