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Moving with your child after divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Child Support & Custody |

When you a crafting a parenting plan with your ex, you must go through a lot of negotiation about who gets the kid when, who picks up the kid where and many other logistical matters. After you go through all that and the court formalizes it with a child custody order, it would be understandable if you felt like you never want to make any changes again.

But, as all parents know, children’s needs change. Parents’ needs change too. You may have to make adjustments to your parenting plan as your lives change. When these changes are small, you and your ex may be able to coordinate them by yourselves, but bigger changes can require getting the court involved.

Parental relocation

One such change comes when you decide to move, particularly if you are moving with your child.

It’s common for Marylanders to change homes, and we do so for any number of reasons: for work, for education, for love or just because we found a better place. But when you have a joint custody or visitation agreement, your move could negatively affect the other parent’s rights. When you are subject to a child custody order, the other parent can enforce their rights through the court.

In child custody orders, courts often include a requirement that one parent notify the court and the other parent of their plans to move as much as 90 days in advance. The exact details depend on the wording of the order, but in many cases, there is no distance requirement; a parent must notify the other of their plans to move whether it’s within Maryland or out of state.

If the other parent objects to the move, they must notify the court within 20 days of receiving the notice. The court then sets a date for a hearing. Both parents can make arguments at the hearing, but the court makes the decision about whether to allow the move. It makes this decision based on its interpretation of the best interests of the child.

It’s important to note that there are exceptions to these requirements. For instance, if you must move quickly because of a financial problem or other emergency, the court can waive the 90-day requirement so long as you notify the court and the other parent within a reasonable time.

These matters can get complicated quickly. Parents with questions about relocation can talk to experienced professionals to learn more about how the law may apply to the exact circumstances of their case.