How Relocation Impacts Child Custody?

Divorces are never easy to deal with, and if you add kids into this mix, then things can become even more heartbreaking. Child custody is an important thing to go over, and if you’re relocating, to start over, for a job prospect, or any other thing, then these things are good to keep in mind. Of course, the first thing to do is to get a child custody attorney.

Is Relocation Good?

There can be many reasons for a relocation. It may be the fact that you’re getting a better job offer somewhere, you are trying to get close to your parents for the separation, you’re willing to start fresh or you might be getting away from a certain toxic environment. But every single move, especially during divorces and child custody cases, can be twisted and morphed into something else. This is why it’s always a good idea to consult with a good family attorney or lawyer because they will guide you better on these things.

First of all, you need to go through with the initial child custody agreement and see if there is any clause that states the possibility of moving away. This can affect the other parent’s visitation rights, and if they don’t agree with the reason for your relocation, then they might put up a fight with you and restrain the moving process, which can be quite frustrating.

If you’re going to relocate and that’s something on your mind for quite some time now, then it’s good to keep the best interest of your child in mind as well, because they are your primary priority and you should make decisions based on the fact that how they’re going to feel about everything.

How Does It Affect The Case?

It can go both ways. Relocation can be good or bad, depending on your situation and how your case is flowing. If it was a messy divorce because of whatever reason, the other party might find out about your relocation and fight with you to the grave, just for you to give the decision up.

This is why it’s better to always have legal help on hand because you never know what move of yours can turn the case around. Child custody cases, especially after divorces, are dangerous to tread in freely and every decision of yours will be analyzed under intense scrutiny, so you need to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios.

Even if the partner was cooperative in the divorce proceeding, relocation in a child custody case is completely different and that can turn things around pretty quickly. This is why, if you’re trying to relocate, don’t keep it a secret. Keep it in the open and make it known to the people around you, about your plans and what you intend to do, after getting custody of your child. This is going to make things a lot easier and if it’s already known information, then people can’t misconstrue the narrative and you’ll be in a safe zone.

Another thing that can impact the child custody case, paired with relocation, is how the child feels about moving away from a place that was once his/her home. They might not be complacent at first, so that’s something you need to deal with as well. So, there are a lot of things that you need to think about before getting up and leaving, just because you want to because it’s not that easy.

How To Prepare For A Child Custody/Relocation Case

If relocation was part of your plan from the get-go, then that’s a completely different case and you need to prepare for it. Here is what you need to do, to prepare for a custody and relocation case.

Get A Lawyer

You won’t be able to do things on your own and getting legal help will allow you to make a better decision. You need to give the family lawyer Fairfax VA the full background of your story and why you want to relocate because the reason can make or break the case.

Inform Your Spouse

Once you have a lawyer and they know your entire story and the fact that you’re willing to relocate, they will draft up an agreement to give to the other parent. This is important because the other parent, although they’re separated, needs to be informed about the custody case so that there’s as little resistance as possible.

The sole purpose is to make the case go smoothly and have no unwanted situations during the entirety of the case and that’s only possible through clear and open communication between the two parties.

The Judge Will Determine Child Custody

The judge will also be made aware of the fact that you’re willing to relocate with your child after the case is done. They will also evaluate your reason for leaving, and if it’s convincing enough, then the judge will allow visitation rights to the other parent, as per the regulations that involve relocation of the child.

This is why it’s so important to keep everything in the open because if you don’t keep secrets, then everything will fall into place and it might be advantageous to you, in the end, so trust the process and you’ll eventually get there.

Factors That Affect Child Custody

Many things can affect the custody of your child if you add relocation to the mix of things. Here are some of them:

The Child’s Relationship With The Parent

The relationship of the child with the other parent is extremely crucial to look over. If both of them have a decent relationship and are close to each other then it’s going to be an issue when you’re trying to relocate. Either the child won’t be willing to leave or the parent will put up some resistance, either way, you want to be prepared for anything that can go wrong, because that’s how things usually are, with these types of things.

The Well-Being Of Your Child

Is the child happy in the original place? Is the relocation more for you or your child? Is it going to affect the mental health of the child? These are questions you need to ask yourself, before going forward with a custody case paired with relocation, because there might be some self-reflecting thoughts that might pop in your head.

If the relocation isn’t necessary and you’re just doing it out of spite, then it’s better to pump the brakes, take a step back, and evaluate everything, before making the right decision.

State Laws

Different state laws can also be a pain in the neck if you’re trying to relocate. Some states will want the permission from court for your relocation, while some might inquire about your reason and if it’s not convincing, then they’re going to dig deeper.

This is why it’s recommended that you don’t relocate until the custody case is over, because if you do, then you’ll need to start all over again, in a new place, with a new lawyer and all of that can be frustrating and costly.


Relocation depends on case to case, especially when child custody is concerned. Make sure to consult your child custody lawyer Fairfax VA before making any major decisions like these.