Whether it is a spouse that desires to leave the state with their children or a parent that want to prevent the same from occurring, we have seen an influx of inquiries from prospective clients who want to move to another state with their children. These types of cases are often referred to as relocation custody cases or move away custody cases. 

Standard in move away child custody case

“The best interest of the child” is the fundamental principle that governs all custody cases and it is this same principle that the Court will use to determine if the parent who wants to move away with their child is allowed to do so. 

Factors in relocation (move away) cases

In Ramirez-Barker v. Barker, 107 N.C.App. 71, 418 S.E.2d 675 (1992), the Court set forth the following factors that the trial court may use when evaluating a request for relocation (move away):

  1. The advantages of the relocation in terms of its capacity to improve the life of the child;
  2. The motives of the custodial parent in seeking the move;
  3. The likelihood that the custodial parent will comply with visitation orders when he or she is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of North Carolina;
  4. The integrity of the noncustodial parent in resisting the relocation; and
  5. The likelihood that a realistic visitation schedule can be arranged which will preserve and foster the parental relationship with the non-custodial parent.

In relocation cases or move away cases, the judge will use the above-mentioned factors to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of one environment compared to the other. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, the court may, in its discretion, permit the party to move with the child to a new state. 

Relocation cases are not as simple as looking at these factors and thinking that you have a bona fide case. Even with all of the factors on your side, the court may decide for or against relocation in order to promote what is in the best interest of the child.

If relocation is at issue in your custody case,  please call our office today at 1-877-351-1513 to schedule a consultation with one of our award winning family law attorneys.

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