Q: My ex-husband is talking about moving across the country. He has full custody of our kids, and I have visiting rights. I don’t want them to be too far away for me to visit. Is there anything I can do to stop him from moving?
A: Yes, you can absolutely do something about this move. Most jurisdictions require that the relocating party provide sufficient notice to the non-relocating party about the move and the reasons for it, especially if it will impact custody rights.
Even if you do not have primary custody, the fact that your partial custody or visitation rights may be severely affected is something that a court may need to consider and review when deciding whether relocation is allowed.
The court will also examine the reasons for the move. Does your ex have a legitimate reason for moving, such as a better job opportunity or a desire to be closer to family? Will the move improve life for the kids, or is your ex moving to deprive you of partial custody or visitation time with the children? These are considerations that a court will examine before a decision is made as to whether the move will be allowed.
In addition, your ex will need to come forward with a plan to allow you to continue to have meaningful time with the children, albeit not the same time that you have now. The guiding principle in all custody decisions, including relocation, is the best interest of the children. This will be the primary focus of the court in determining whether your children will relocate or stay.