Divorce is a major life event. However, even after parents in Virginia finalize their divorce, life has its twists and turns. Sometimes a parent who has custody of a child wants to move to a different part of Virginia, to a different state or even abroad. Parents may have good reasons for wanting to move. Perhaps they received a lucrative job offer that will afford them a better lifestyle, or perhaps they want to live closer to family so they and their child can form stronger bonds with their relations.
The question that then arises is what are the noncustodial parent's rights if the custodial parent wants to move away? The noncustodial parent still has visitation rights and deserves to be an important part of the child's life. A noncustodial parent might object to the move.
There are legal processes that the custodial parent who wishes to move away with the child must follow in order to have the move approved by the court. On the flip side, there are legal processes the noncustodial parent has to follow when objecting to a relocation. At Maddox & Gerock, P.C., we have represented both custodial and noncustodial parents in such situations. Of course, the primary consideration in all of this is what is in the best interests of the child.
Parental relocation has to be handled in a way that allows the child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. This may mean altering an existing parenting plan. Sometimes the move will be permitted, while other times it will not. In either case, having a dedicated attorney on your side can help you better understand your legal options with regards to parental relocation, so you can make informed decisions.