Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
People in Maryland may have seen a recent editorial about some of the issues that some parents may face if they want to relocate to another state or a great distance from their ex. Parents in Maryland who want to relocate should always consult with their family law attorney before proceeding to move away, as doing so without taking the proper legal steps could result in serious repercussions that could include criminal charges or otherwise negatively affect their child custody rights.
The thought of moving away and making a clean break after a divorce makes sense for a lot of people who have gone through a tumultuous divorce, but when there are children involved, it is ultimately important to take their needs, as well as the rights of the ex-spouse, into account. In most divorces in Maryland, both parents are presumed to have equal rights when it comes to decisions of major significance to the child, such as the child’s place of residence, education and health care. Unless there is a good reason to deny a parent visitation or parenting time, each parent is also entitled to receive reasonable access to the child.
In many cases, relocating with a child can seriously compromise the other parent’s rights to decision-making and parenting time. Unless the other parent consents, many parents will probably have a difficult time making their case for relocation to the court. A successful relocation proposal must not overly hinder the other parent’s ability to see the child, so unless long-distance travel on a regular basis is both feasible and affordable, this could be an issue of importance in the custody dispute.
The court will also consider the best interests of the child, including the child’s extended family, school and other social connections, and other considerations. If a parent doesn’t have a well-laid plan for the move, then the court might have reservations about granting relocation rights. It is not impossible, but it is difficult, which is why parents considering relocation need the help of an experienced family law attorney.
Source: Huffington Post “Divorce Confidential: Your Legal Rights to Relocate Your Child,” Caroline Choi, Aug. 20, 2014