What are your Rights when your Ex-Spouse and Children Move over State Lines?

After a divorce, the issue sometimes arises where one of the parents decide to move out of state.  In Georgia, a parent may file for a modification of child custody or visitation, if there is a significant chance in circumstances, including moving over state lines.   Under some circumstances, this may be limited to once every two years.

In Georgia, there is no clear rule as to how relocation is handled; each case is evaluated on an individual basis.  The court primarily evaluates what is in the child’s best interest.  The court will evaluate all the circumstances surrounding the custodial parent’s move, and may determine that custody should be switched to the noncustodial parent. If the court finds that the relocation will not be in the best interest of the child, the court can switch custody to the noncustodial parent. Most often, the court will allow the moving parent to continue with their plans, but will set up a visitation schedule that accounts for the distance between the parties.  In some instances, the modification may account for travel costs necessary for visitation.

What Happens when Noncustodial Parents Move out of State? 

If a noncustodial parent wishes to move out of state, the visitation schedule will often be shifted to allow fewer, longer visits.  If the custody order needs to be modified, the court will, just as in the case of the custodial parent moving, concern itself with the best interest of the child.

As cases of relocation are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, it is all the more essential to have a practiced attorney on your side.  Contact the attorneys at Sterns-Montgomery and Proctor immediately if you are planning a move, or wish to ensure your rights are protected when your ex does.