Custody and Access: Relocating For A New Job

I have a job offer in another city. Can I move and take my child with me?

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If you are accepting a job in a new community and wish to take your child with you, there are many things you will have to consider to consider before you send off that acceptance letter. 

You will need consent from your child’s other parent

If wish to take your child with you to a new city, you should consult your child’s other parent as soon as possible. You should tell them about your opportunity and discuss how it will impact the current parenting arrangements and how you see it benefitting your child. 

If the other parent doesn’t consent, you will need a judge’s order

Even if your child is accustomed to being with you as their primary care giver, the importance of them remaining with you will be weighed against them maintaining full contact with their other parent, their family, extended family and community. Courts are generally reluctant to allow relocation where both parents are actively involved with the children. 

Your new job opportunity is relevant to your case only if it enhances your ability to meet the needs of your child. A judge will consider this, and a number of other factors when deciding what is in your child’s best interests, including: 

  • The existing parenting arrangement and your child’s relationship with each parent;
  • Whether it is desirable to maximize contact between the child and each parent;
  • Your child’s views;
  • Your reasons for moving (employment opportunities are relevant to your ability to meet your child’s needs); and
  • Any disruption to your child resulting from their removal from family, school, and their community. 

Your lawyer is an important resource

Moving is often a very sensitive topic when it comes to parenting arrangements. You should connect with your lawyer before making any big decisions. Your lawyer can help understand all of your rights and obligations, prepare for difficult discussions, and connect with relevant resources. 

If you have questions or comments about this post, please start a conversation with us on Twitter:
Jennifer Reynolds @freshstartott / Kayla Sanger @klasanger

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