Divorce involving children can be complex and it may take time to reach an agreement on custody. Generally, the family court prefers parents to have a joint managing conservatorship. This means that each parent has a say in decisions that involve the child’s well-being.
One such decision includes where the child will live. If a parent wants to move away with their child, can they simply just up and leave?
It depends on the type of custody
In most cases, the court will insist that it is in the best interests of the child for parents to share custody of the child. The custody order will reflect this. Where a joint custody order is in place, one parent cannot simply move away to any destination.
Where both parents agree
As long as one parent’s custody rights aren’t disrupted too much, a move might be possible if both parents agree. However, as custody orders are legally binding, permission is usually required from the court even when parents are in agreement.
If the move is disputed by one parent then the court will take a number of factors into consideration. They will assess the reasons for the move and how that move may or may not benefit the well-being of the child.
It’s important that you don’t take it upon yourself to make decisions relating to child custody. Typically, court approval is required for significant changes to custody orders. By having legal guidance behind you, you limit the risks of anything going wrong while also protecting your own rights.