Joint Physical Custody Options for Relocating Parents

Joint physical custody agreements often present no challenges if both parents reside in the same city or town. However, it becomes a significant issue when one parent wants to relocate and change residency. Thus, most parents wonder what would happen if they get a job in another state or country. A family lawyer can help you reach an amicable agreement regardless of residency. This article highlights options that family lawyers propose to joint custody parents dealing with residency issues.  

Preserve Joint Custody by Staying Put -- Indeed, joint custody is possible when both parents live in different states. However, it is implausible that a judge will grant permission to modify an agreement to allow a child to move between states every other weekend. A child's best interests usually guide a judge's decision. If the current living conditions are conducive for a kid's development, a lawyer will advise you to stay put to preserve your joint custody rights. It would not make sense for a child to relocate when their current residence fulfils their needs. Therefore, rather than arguing why you should relocate with your child, it is a good idea to stay put. Notably, you will likely lose joint physical custody rights if you decide to move.  

Improved Quality of Life -- Family courts scrutinise everything regarding a child's education, social networks, and living conditions when handling custody cases. All these facets determine the well-being of a child. Therefore, if you plan to move to a different state or city and want to retain joint physical custody rights, your lawyer must argue that it is in the child's best interests. For instance, if your new employer offers to pay for your child's schooling in one of the best institutions in the new state, a family lawyer can use the information to your advantage. Similarly, a family court will consider your lawyer's arguments if the new neighbourhood is more secure than the child's current residence.  

Draw a New Custody Schedule -- Family courts advise relocating parents to argue their case regarding custody rights. Therefore, if you have weighed the pros and cons and have decided that moving is in a child's best interests, a judge will demand to see a new custody schedule. Remember that moving with your child to a different state deprives the non-relocating parent of adequate quality time with the child. Therefore, a family lawyer will help you draw a revised custody schedule. For example, you might propose extended vacation visits with the non-relocating parent.

To learn more, contact a family lawyer.