Perhaps the child custody agreement currently in place has worked well for you, your former spouse and your nine-year-old daughter Amy.

However, your employer has offered you a promotion that comes with a move from New York to Pennsylvania, and Amy will relocate with you. Will the court approve child custody agreement modification?

First steps

As the custodial parent, you must first discuss the impending relocation with your former spouse because it will mean modifying the child custody agreement you have both followed since your divorce. Before ordering a change, the court will want to know that the other parent understands the reason for the out-of-state move and believes that it will be in Amy’s best interests to relocate with you.

Matters the court will consider

You must prepare for the court’s questions. The judge will be most concerned with Amy’s welfare and will consider:

  •         Whether you and the other parent have worked out a new visitation schedule
  •         Whether the move will make a visitation schedule either impractical or impossible
  •         How the move will affect Amy’s life regarding school, friendships, religious upbringing and more

Prepare to show the court information about your new home, the new community, the school Amy will attend and any other facts that will confirm that her best interests are your top priority.

Seeking guidance

Due to your promotion at work and the accompanying move out of state, the court will consider modifying your current child custody and visitation orders. In a case like this, the court may lower child support payments because of the transportation costs required for visits with Amy. Because of the distance between homes, the visitation schedule will likely change to allow longer visits for Amy and the other parent during the summer, long weekends and holiday breaks. With legal guidance, supporting facts and the appropriate verification from your employer regarding relocation, you can create a petition for child custody modification that the court will approve.

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