Relocation and your Child


During the course of a child’s minority, it is not uncommon for one parent to be faced with an opportunity, or need, to relocate from North Carolina.

When the topic of relocation is at issue, the first determination that must be made is where is the minor child’s home state, which is defined as where the child has lived for six (6) consecutive months. If your child has been residing in North Carolina for at least the last six (6) months, then a North Carolina court has jurisdiction determine your custody issues.

If one parent wants to relocate outside of the state of North Carolina with the child, away from the other parent, the court will take the following factors into consideration:

            -Does the move have the capacity to improve the life of the child?

            -What are the motives of the parent in seeking the move?

-What is the likelihood that the custodial parent will comply with visitation orders when he or she is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of North Carolina?

            -What is the integrity of the noncustodial parent in resisting the relocation?

-What is the likelihood that a realistic visitation schedule can be arranged which will preserve and foster the parental relationship with the noncustodial parent?

After the court weighs the above factors, the court will make a determination as to where the child will primarily live. A relocation will have advantages and disadvantages for the child as is commonly associated with a move of any kind for all children. However, if factors, as listed above, show it is in the best interests of the minor child is to relocate with one of the parents, then the court has the discretion to allow the child to relocate with the requesting parent.

If you need legal advice or representation in a custody case involving the relocation of the minor child, please contact one of our lawyers at Jetton & Meredith.  Our attorneys are equipped with knowledge and experience to help you maneuver through these difficult times. 

Controlling North Carolina caselaw: Ramirez-Barker v. Barker 107 N.C. App. 71 (1992)