The entire process of dividing one household into two after divorce involves a great deal of decision-making and stress, but most parents would agree that nothing matches the decisions related to child custody. O
ur Minnesota child custody lawyers have guided countless clients to take many factors into account when negotiating issues such as physical custody and parenting time. However, when the parent with physical custody has to move out of state for employment or other reasons, the entire arrangement most likely falls apart.
In a highly-mobile world, out-of-state moves are common events, but they require court approval that focuses on the best interests of the children.
Parents With Primary Physical Custody Often Retain Custody After a Move
According to the MN Parenting Time statutes, no court will permit a child’s residence to be moved out-of-state if it finds that parenting time interference is the reason for an out-of-state custodial parent move. Barring that exception, the courts look at a wide array of factors to decide whether the parent with physical custody can retain that role. Some of the factors used to make this decision include:
- The relationship of the child with both parents, siblings and other significant persons in the child’s life
- The child’s needs based on age and developmental stage, as well as how those needs will be affected by a move
- The ability of the non-relocating parent to preserve a relationship with the child based on logistical and financial considerations
- The preferences of any child who is mature enough to contribute to the decision
- The overall benefits of making the move to the relocating parent and child
Unless a parent requesting the move has been the victim of domestic abuse by the other parent, he or she bears the burden of proof to show the courts that the move is in the best interests of the children. However, non-relocating parents usually have a full opportunity to present cases opposing the move.
Parents Who Can Renegotiate Custody Can Serve the Best Interests of Their Children
Dealing with decisions involved in moving children out of state can be a very different experience from entering into negotiations during the initial divorce process. Clearly, anything that possibly requires parents to see the children less frequently can be emotionally-charged. Of course arrangements can be made to extend the length of each visit, with ample virtual visitation available via computer in between visits.
On the other hand, parents who have become accustomed to new ways to share time with the children after divorce may have better relationships with each other, making them more willing and able to negotiate new terms.
While the final child custody decisions remain in the hands of the courts, parents who can present new viable parenting plans have the best chance of obtaining terms that are most appropriate for themselves and the entire family. To learn more about effective methods of negotiation, call us at (763) 783-5146 or use our convenient contact form.