After a divorce, it can be good to have a fresh start in a new house, new town or even a new state. For parents under child custody orders, however, this kind of move isn’t so easy.
Generally, both parents have the right to visit with their child and the responsibility to pay for their care. When one parent seeks to move away with the child, it affects the other parent’s rights.
Under Georgia law, the parent seeking the move must give the other parent notice of their intent. If the other parent consents to the move, they may need to modify their custody plan.
If the other parent objects to the move, the court must decide on the dispute.
Best interests of the child
Georgia courts make their child custody decisions based on their interpretation of the child’s best interests. This means the parent who wishes to move must show that the move is in the child’s best interests.
For instance, a parent may be able to show that the move will allow them to have a better-paying job, access to better schools, more frequent contact with grandparents or some other advantage that could improve the child’s well-being.
Alternatively, a parent may show that the move is not in the child’s best interests because it will take them away from their school, extended family or other important community contacts.
Note also that child support obligations will most likely carry on as they did before the move, even if the move takes the child to another state. Child support obligations cross state lines.
Parental relocation disputes are difficult both for the parent who wants the move and the one who objects. Attorneys help parents on either side of this type of dispute to assess their legal options.