From job opportunities to a distaste for cold weather, a variety of factors may prompt divorced parents to leave Minnesota. Such departures may be totally justified, but they still cause considerable upheaval for the children of divorce. An out-of-state move may prompt new custody and parenting time concerns, as outlined below:
Preserving the Best Interests of the Child
In general, Minnesota courts seek to preserve the best interests of the child in all divorce arrangements. This includes, of course, the child’s living situation. When in doubt, local courts prefer stability, as divorce prompts enough upheaval as is. Hence, the child’s intended residence can play a role in ongoing custody negotiations. After the divorce has been completed, however, the parent who holds custody is by no means barred from moving — unless the other parent objects.
Non-moving parents who object to relocation can make their intentions known by filing a motion in the district court. From there, it is up to the judge to determine whether such a move could prove damaging to the child in question. The court may schedule an evidentiary hearing. During this procedure, the moving parent must explain why, exactly, the move is in the child’s best interests.
Changing the Parenting Plan
If both parties consent to the move, they can work together to alter the previously established parenting plan. An out-of-state move constitutes the ‘substantial change’ in circumstances needed for modification. During this process, parents should strive to ensure that both can maintain strong relationships with their children.
No matter the circumstances of your Minnesota divorce and its aftermath, you deserve support from an attorney who understands the local legal system. Reach out today to learn how the team at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. can help.