Family law cases are often complicated, especially when children are involved. Issues such as child custody and child support are highly contentious matters. If the custodial parent is moving and wants to take the children with them, the non-relocating parent can oppose the move and file an objection in family court.
Ideally, you want to consult with an expert child relocation attorney in Overland Park who can guide you through the legal processes of child relocation. It also helps to have a basic understanding of child relocation laws so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family.
What is Child Relocation?
Child relocation is when the custodial parent wants to move away with their children to a location that impacts the child’s custody arrangement, such as the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights. The parent has the constitutional right to move as they can live wherever they want to; however, they must abide by the laws, including the child custody order of a family law court.
The distance of the move is not as important as the impact of the move. As long as the move is far enough to cause disruption to the visitation time or custodial arrangement, the case is a “move-away” or “child relocation” case.
Notice Requirement for Relocation in Overland Park, KS
In most cases, the moving party must notify the other party at least 30 days before the date of the intended relocation. According to Kansas law, any move that takes the child away for more than 90 days is considered a case of child relocation, and therefore, it is the legal duty of the moving parent to notify the other parent.
The notification has to be done in writing and sent by registered mail, so there is no confusion about what was communicated. Ideally, you want the notification to include details about the planned relocation, including the date of the proposed move, the reason for moving, and a proposed visitation arrangement.
If a parent fails to notify the other party, they could be held in contempt of court. The only exception to the notification requirement is if the other parent has been convicted of committing a crime against the child.
Impact of Relocation on a Child Custody Dispute
Physical custody means the child lives with the parent all the time. However, their parents can’t just move away without the court’s permission or approval from the other parent.
Kansas courts often have geographic limits to child custody, especially for cases that provide visitation rights to the other parent. This allows the noncustodial parent to easily visit their child. However, the court can modify the child custody order if there has been a life-changing event for the custodial parent or if the move is in the best interest of the child.
The matter of child relocation, also referred to as parental relocation, can get a lot more complicated if there are equal or joint child custody arrangements. The court would consider the best interest of the child to ensure the move is not inherently bad or dangerous for the child. The family court may presume the moving parent is acting in good faith, however, if it is determined that is not the case, the moving parent may lose their right to custody.
The opposing parent can present their case on why they believe the movie is going to be detrimental to the child. For example, they can demonstrate that by moving away, the child will be unable to spend quality time with one of the parents, which is essential for their well-being and happiness.
What if The Other Parent Objects to the Move?
After the non-moving parent has received notification of the intent to move, they have the right to file an objection.
The judge at the family law court will consider evidence in the child custody case, including witnesses to evaluate whether the move is necessary and is in the best interests of the child. More specifically, the court will consider whether the move will allow the parent to do a better job of raising the child.
For example, if the moving parent is struggling financially, and the relocation will significantly improve their financial situation, then the court is likely to view the relocation as having a positive impact on the child’s upbringing. The child’s adjustment to the new community, home, and school will be considered in the court’s decision.
The non-moving parent will have to prove the move is not good for the child. In most cases, the non-moving parent will argue that not being able to spend time with their child is detrimental to the child. The case of the non-moving parent can be strengthened if the child does not want to move.
How Can an Overland Park Family Law Attorney Help?
If you have legal custody or child visitation rights and want to move to another location, you should consult a family law attorney to ensure you are following all the laws and processes required to make the move. The matter of child relocation is not something you want to take lightly, as it can have a major impact on your child’s future.
A child relocation lawyer can also help noncustodial parents who have received notification that their ex is moving away with the children or has already relocated. The family law attorney will assess your case and offer expert legal advice on your rights and obligations.
You are welcome to contact us at the Bright Family Law Center to consult with an experienced family law attorney. Going through a dispute about child custody, spousal support, child support, separation, or divorce can often be stressful and emotionally draining.
Allow our family law attorneys to help you with the family law proceedings and navigate any complications in family law matters. Our team is well-versed in local, state, and federal laws regarding child custody, relocation, and modifying a parenting plan. If needed, we can represent you in court and present evidence and arguments to support your position.
Get in touch with us to schedule a consultation today.