Relocation is a common reason for child custody modification

You may have been adhering to the child custody arrangements you agreed to when you and your spouse divorced a few years ago. Since then, you have been the custodial parent, or primary caretaker, for your young daughter.

Now you wish to relocate. Your request means altering the original agreement, and you have concerns; you wonder how the court will react to your request for modification.

Providing backup

An attorney will tell you that the court always makes decisions based on the best interests of the child. A judge will first want to know the reasons behind the need for relocation. Will you be taking a better job? Are you planning to take advantage of a better housing opportunity? Even more important, how will the relocation affect your daughter? The backup you present to the court should include research you have done about a new school and the opportunities your child will have for activities in the new town or community.

Weighing factors

Your reason for wanting to relocate is to be closer to your own mother, who is struggling with a serious illness. This is a legitimate reason for child custody modification, and you can strengthen your case by explaining that your daughter is particularly fond of her grandmother. However, in making the decision, the court will weigh factors such as your child’s age and level of maturity, the distance between your new home and the old home and whether your daughter will enjoy an education that is equivalent to what she has now.

Giving approval

In discussing the relocation idea with your ex, it is understood that there will be no change to the visitation schedule and thus, no serious objection to the move. In the state of New Hampshire, the court will approve child custody modification if both parents agree to the new plan. An attorney familiar with what the court requires of the petitioner can help you achieve your goal of child custody modification.


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