Move-away divorce cases—divorces in which the child is going to move away from the city he or she lived in before the divorce—are some of the most complicated to handle. There is much a judge has to consider such as visitation and costs, in addition to the well-being of the child.
To be sure, it is almost always the case that allowing a child to stay in their home and hometown is in their best interest. Normalcy and routine are crucial to a child’s development and this becomes even more important after something as turbulent as a divorce. This of course is not to mention the ability to have regular contact with both parents.
If one of the parents has sole or primary custody of the child or children in question, it can be somewhat easier from a legal standpoint. However, when custody is shared and one of the parents wants to move with the child and the other does not, it is up to the parent who wants to move to prove to the court that it is in the best interest of the child to do so.
As with any aspect of a divorce, competent representation is key to settling such matters. Both sides can negotiate a solution that works for all involved. This includes costs.
Who Pays for Transportation?
If the parent who wants to move is planning on relocating a great distance from where the other parent lives, the issue of paying for transportation will come up. Plane tickets are not cheap and when children are young, at least one adult will need to travel with them. This can add up quickly, especially if the child visits the other parent several times a year.
Because the parent who wishes to move is required to prove it is in the child’s best interest and may be infringing on the other parent’s visitation rights, they may need to be flexible when it comes to paying for the transportation. Offering to pay for the transportation can go a long way in working out an agreement that allows you to move with your child or children to the city you think is best for you and them.
However, keep in mind that if you will be legally bound to pay for the transportation and for several plane tickets several times a year (if contained in a legal agreement), the total bill can easily climb into the thousands of dollars.
One possible solution is allowing the child or children to spend extended periods of time with the other parent. This can reduce the number of trips per year and the cost of transportation. It can also work well with kids’ school schedules and appease the other parent. If they are given key times such as summer vacation or Christmas break, it might make them more willing to consider your move.
Cooperation and Collaboration are Key
The best interest of the child is the standard in California family law and the family law in many other states as well. If it really is in the best interest of the child and you approach your ex-husband or wife with a collaborative spirit, you have a far greater chance of being permitted to move with your child or children.
Another key is finding a family law attorney who can help you navigate the challenges of divorce cases. Good lawyers will be able to work with you to find an outcome that is in the best interest of your children and works for you and your ex as well. Family law attorneys with experience can be a great asset in such challenging times.