Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

Resolving conflicts around parental rights and child relocation

When parents share custody of their child, it is often a delicate balance keeping both sides properly engaged in the child's life. This is especially true when one parent faces the prospect of relocating and taking the child with them. Depending on the nature of the move and the division of custody time, the move often means that the non-custodial parent may see their parenting time drastically reduced. It may also impose significant expenses for the parent who wishes to consistently remain in their child's life after relocation.

It goes without saying that relocation conflicts are among some of the most complex issues that family law covers. Ultimately, courts tend to assess relocation requests or opposition by looking at how the move may benefit or negatively impact the best interests of the child. Parental relocations are common and are regularly approved.

If you face a difficult relocation dispute with your child's other parent, make sure to assemble a strong legal strategy as soon as possible. This will help you understand the legal tools you have available and works to keep your rights and privileges secure during this turbulent season.

Modifying custody and parenting agreements

The parent who wishes to make the move must first provide proper notice to the non-custodial parent, who only has a certain number of days to respond. If the non-custodial parent does not respond within the allotted time, then the custodial parent may typically make the move without much difficulty.

In order to properly resolve a relocation if a court approves it, parents must modify their custody and parenting agreements. Of course, moving significantly far away from one parent means that custody privileges are likely to change in a big way. In order to avoid violating the custody order and parenting plan, a court must approve modifications.

Typically, this results in the non-custodial parent receiving increased custody time on holidays and breaks from school. The custodial parent may also have to assume some or all of the expense of transferring the child and other travel costs, because they are the one causing the increase in travel distance.

Don't wait to protect your rights

No matter which side of a parental relocation dispute you find yourself on, now is the time to protect your rights with the strength of the law. Do not wait to use all the legal tools you have to understand your options while keeping the best interest of your child at heart.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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38 Pond Street Suite 301
Franklin, MA 02038

Phone: 508-507-8742
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