In our prior posts on relocation, we addressed the necessity of filing a Notice of Intent to Relocate if you intend to move and the information that must be set forth in your Notice; and also addressed the basics of relocation litigation. In this post, we’ll discuss potential evidence each parent may present to the court in a relocation hearing.
Rejecting a Proposed Relocation
As set forth in the applicable statute, the non-relocating parent may object to your proposed move. The objection, when filed with the court, can be a simple statement that there is an objection to the proposed move. Once the objection is filed, the court will typically set a relocation hearing.
When and/or why would someone object to a proposed relocation? If you are moving across the street, it is highly unlikely there will be an objection to the proposed move. However, if you are the custodial parent (you have the children more than 50% of the time) and you are moving anywhere from a half-hour away to another state, litigation is likely.
As discussed in our previous post, ‘Relocation Litigation – The Basics’, in the event the judge has to make a ruling, the court engages in a two-part analysis.
- First, is the move being made in good faith. Often this requirement is not difficult to meet. For instance, courts have found that moving to be closer to family is a good faith reason.
- Second, the court will determine whether the move is in the best interests of the children.
Considerations for a Relocating Parent
Be prepared to provide evidence for each and every reason for your move. If you are moving to be closer to family, it will be very helpful to have one or more of the family members available to testify as to the closeness of the family bonds and the support the family can provide. If you are moving for a better job, evidence showing your failed attempts to find a job in your current area can be critical, in addition to proof that a job awaits you in the town you are moving to. Otherwise, the judge may conclude that moving for a job is not a good faith reason to relocate.
Let’s presume that the relocating parent successfully argues that the proposed move is being made in good faith. At that point the court determines what is in the best interests of the children. Arguably the most important evidence is showing the court that you have the ability to provide care for the child(ren). You can object all you want, but if you are unable to provide care for the children due to your job, economics, or some other reason, it could be difficult to prevail in the case.
For instance, you may be a great parent, but if you have a job that requires you to travel multiple days per week, the court may find it is in the best interests for the children to move with the relocating parent. Other evidence that can be persuasive is evidence of ties to family in your area and connections to school and sports teams.
ROBERTS MEANS, LLC: Family Litigation Experts You Trust
Relocation cases are amongst the most contentious matters in family litigation. Whether you want to relocate or are objecting to a proposed relocation, it is important that you have experienced counsel on your side. For additional information concerning relocation, please feel free to call ROBERTS MEANS, LLC at (317) 353-3600 or contact us via email if you have any questions.