Relocation during the Divorce Process
When your divorce case is initiated a Domestic Standing Order will be put in place. This Standing Order will not allow either party to relocate with the children without consent from the Court. To get approval, the party would need to obtain a temporary hearing to agree upon temporary custody. The relocating party can ask the temporary custody agreement to allow the party to relocate with the children during the divorce process. The judge will consider whether the relocation would be in the best interest of the children when considering the request.
If you are considering to moving whether it is out of state or within the state, make sure to first check your parenting plan. Normally the parenting plan will contain a time frame that you must notify the opposing party of the move. For example, the parenting plan may give the moving party 90 days before the move to notify in writing the other parent of the new address.
How will moving affect my Parenting Plan?
Well, it depends on how far away you are moving and the current custody situation. For example, the current custody of the children is every other week but one party decides to move to New Mexico. Obviously, a new custody arrangement would need to be reached as it is not feasible for the children to travel back and forth every other week between Georgia and New Mexico. If the moving party only moves one county over, it is possible for the custody arrangement of every other week to continue to take place. However, in either situation the other parent may decide to file a Modification of Child Custody. While the state of Georgia relocation does not automatically grant you a modification of custody, it does not mean the case will not move forward.
How does the Court View Relocation?
Just because a parent chooses to move will not automatically result in the moving parent losing custody nor will it automatically result in the moving parent retaining custody. If the primary custodial parent is the one relocating the judge will take into account if the move is in the best interest of the children. Also, the judge will consider what affects the relocation will have on the relationship between the children and non-moving parent. The reasoning for the relocation will be taken into account as well. On top of those factors the court will consider the traditional factors as well when determining custody. For a list of those factors check out our Child Custody Attorneys article. In addition, a GAL may be appointed to investigate the issue of custody and make a recommendation. A GAL will interview the children’s teachers, doctors, family friends and therapists to fully understand how the relocation may affect the children. If you are considering relocating or worried about your ex-spouse relocating, contact us toll-free at 866-527-2630 to set up a consultation with one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys.