Questions and Answers

Can I move out of state with my child if the father has visitation rights and pays child support?

I live in Ohio and have a child support and visitation agreement with the father. I also have a daughter with a different dad but he is not in the picture, but we are all moving to Jacksonville, NC, to live on the military base with my fiance. What do I need to do for this to happen if anything?? I am the custodial parent and both kids live with me.

ANSWER

Most states view this situation from the perspective of the child and not the parent. As such, any court determination will focus on the “best interests of the child.” In these situations it is always best to try to work with the other parent, explain your reasons for the relocation, and come to an agreement about the move. Often, the other parent’s objection to the move is based on his/her fear of [emotionally] losing the child because s/he no longer seems important in the child’s daily life. If you can allay those concerns the other parent is likely to agree to the move. If not, the courts will want to know that this move is best for the child. Perhaps you are moving to a place with better schools, extended family and support, better job/lifestyle, better medical treatment for the child, etc. In any event, the Court will want to know that you have and will work hard to keep up contact between the child and the other parent. Offering longer access time on holidays, helping the child call, emails, Skype, or send letters to the other parent will go a long way to showing the court that your relocation will not cut out the other parent from the child’s life.

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