Can I Relocate with my Child after a Divorce?


Following a divorce, one party may wish to relocate to a new city, state, or country. It is important to note, however, that before you make arrangements to relocate with your minor child, there may be procedures or steps that need to be taken beforehand to determine if relocation is even an option.

Subsequent to, and sometimes concurrent with, a divorce, a custody action commences if the parties share a minor child. The outcome of these proceedings will leave the parties with a custody order outlining your custody and/or visitation schedule with the minor child. This custody order is an order of the court, and must be followed strictly to avoid any penalties, such as contempt of court.

Generally, custody orders will include some form of language that addresses the question of relocation. It might include language explaining that the relocating parent must give 30 days notice of the move to the non-relocating parent. Other times, if the move is out of state, the relocating parent must ask the court’s permission to relocate with the minor child and the court must find that relocating is in the best interest of the minor child. In determining whether or not a relocation of the minor child is in the best interest of the minor child, the Court will consider a variety of factors, which include but are not limited to: the advantages of the relocation in terms of its capacity to improve the life of the child; the motives of the custodial parent in seeking the move; 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; the integrity of the noncustodial parent in resisting the relocation; and the likelihood that a realistic visitation schedule can be arranged which will preserve and foster the parental relationship with the noncustodial parent

If you are seeking legal advice and representation for child custody issues, please reach out to one of our skilled family law attorneys at Jetton & Meredith, PLLC.