After returning your children to your ex after a visitation, she informs you that she’s planning on moving and taking the kids with her. Or maybe you receive an official written notice in the mail. No matter how you are given the news that your children may be moving farther away from you, it’s normal to be worried about how you are going to maintain a relationship with your children.
It’s important for noncustodial parents — or those who have joint custody — to understand that they have options. If your ex is planning a significant move to another city, state or even country, it may be possible to ask the courts to intervene if you believe that the move is not in the children’s best interests or will negatively affect your ability to maintain your current visitation schedule.
In most cases where the new residence is a significant distance away, the courts agree to modify the visitation schedule, or the custody arrangement if the court decides the move would harm the children. However, long-distance visitation schedules can still result in seeing your children less frequently. It can be very difficult to get the courts to prevent the custodial parent from moving entirely, but it is possible in some situations.
If you are concerned about your ex’s plans to move, the first step is to talk with an attorney and try to understand the reasoning behind the move. It may be possible for you and your ex to work out a new visitation schedule that is agreeable to both of you, in which case the courts would likely agree to make it official. If not, an attorney can help you understand how to begin asking the courts to intervene.