When you share custody with your child’s other parent, conflict may arise if he or she wants to move. In Ohio, state law requires written notice when a custodial parent plans to relocate with the child.
Review your options if you want to stop a move that will interfere with your parenting time.
Parenting plan modification
If you receive notice of a planned relocation that affects your child, you can ask for a hearing to modify the existing parenting plan. If approved, you would receive primary physical custody and have the right to stop the move. If the judge decides the other parent can move with your child, he or she will modify the parenting plan to preserve your parenting time. For example, if the distance interferes with weeknight visits, you can ask for extended time with the kids during school breaks and summer.
Factors in the decision
The judge will strive to keep the child’s environment as stable as possible. If he or she does well at school and home with the existing arrangement, the judge may decide that relocation does not serve the child’s best interests. Factors in this determination include:
- The current distance between your homes and the distance of the proposed new residence
- Whether either of you or your child has physical or mental health issues
- Your child’s current adjustment level in his or her living situation
- Your child’s relationship with family members, siblings and both parents
- Your child’s preference depending on age
If you disagree with the move, the other parent must prove that the benefits will exceed the potential drawbacks for your child.