What are my rights/responsibilities regarding relocation?

I am the non-custodial parent of a child that my ex wife and I share joint custody. I am planning to relocate out of state within the next 2 months. What are my obligations, in regards to notification of the other party? What if I do not relocate by the date specified? And what action do I need to cover myself in regards to a new visitation schedule?

Asked on September 19, 2012 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Most child support orders will set out the rules for notification and the new standards for visitation when one parent moves farther away.... so read your orders and look for any notice provisions.  If your orders do not have any provisions, then give your ex- a verbal and sometype of written notice (anything verifiable like a certified letter or email).  Thirty days notice should be sufficient.  Since you don't know an exact date, just include in your notice language to the effect that you will be moving "on or about _____ 2012," or give an approximation:  "I'll be relocating in approximately one month."  The sooner you tell her and child better.  Not just for legal reasons, but also to start preparing your child and figuring out the logistics of how you are still going to maintain contact and visitations despite the greater distance.  If you are proactive in this planning, then you shouldn't have any problems with your ex- or the courts.  She won't have a basis for complaining about the move, but if she files a motion for the sake of being annoying (because that does sometimes happen), you'll be able to go to the court and show clean hands:  more than one type of notice, proactive planning, and preparation of the child for the change.


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