How your move might affect your child custody arrangement

Many Minnesota families find themselves facing unexpected child custody concerns when one parent decides it is time to move. Parents who share child custody may be required to return to court to create an arrangement that works for the best interests of the child. These changes can be difficult for everyone involved, so it is critical to know your rights and options before pursuing custody changes through a move-away order.

In some instances, moving to a different location might not change much for your kids. Imagine relocating to a town that is just an hour down the road, for example. That situation might even allow for a child custody plan that closely resembles your current agreement.

Say that you have primary custody of your kids, though, and you get a job offer several states -- or even countries -- away. In many cases, parents want to return to their home so they can enjoy the social support provided by relatives. Other parents may need to move for professional or financial reasons.

The court considers a variety of factors when deciding whether a move-away situation is permissible. The distance of the move is a primary consideration, as is the child's age. Further, the reason for the move is carefully evaluated; in some cases, parents have nefarious intentions in moving, as they may want to block the other parent from accessing the children. Finally, older children's preferences may be considered.

Minnesota parents who are considering a child custody modification may benefit from the assistance of a family attorney. These professionals can help clients learn more about their legal rights and options. No one should have to face child custody litigation on his or her own.

Source: Huffington Post, "In the Child's Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases" Lisa Helfend Meyer, Feb. 12, 2014

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