to relocate

If you can not reach an agreement, you can try mediation or ask the court for substitute permission for the relocation of the children. 

What is a good moment to go to court?

Of course, you first tried to reach a solution in consultation with the other parent. Perhaps you have suggested mediation, or sent a proposal for a parenting plan.

In addition, you have prepared the move well. You have taken measures to ensure a good transition for the children. You have arranged everything, in terms of school, family doctor, childcare and membership of (sports) clubs. The children have the opportunity to say goodbye and will have time to get used to everything that will be new. You have taken into account a possible language barrier and ensured sufficient attention and care for the children.

You have thought about the consequences of the move for contact with the other parent. Is there an existing visitation arrangement that now needs to be adjusted? How will the move affect this arrangement? What is the distance, the travel time, what are the travel costs? How can this be accommodated? Will you accommodate that, or will you both?

If, despite all good intentions, no agreement has been reached, in most countries you can ask the court for substitute permission to move. In doing so, you can also ask to establish or modify the visitation arrangement.

Chances are that the court will suggest to both parties that they participate in mediation through the court. The proceedings will then be stayed pending the results of the mediation. If the mediation does not produce results, the proceedings will be resumed.

If you have thought about the various interests, the practical problems and possible solutions beforehand, the mediation has a greater chance of succeeding and you will also be better prepared for the hearing.

How will the court look at your request to move?

How the court will evaluate your request for substitute consent varies by state. On the states page, you can read about the laws and case law on this topic for each state.

In general, it can be said that the court may look at the following issues?

  • Is the move necessary for the parent who wants to move?
  • Is the move in the best interest of the child?
  • How will it effect contact with the other parent?
  • How can the negative consequences be mitigated or compensated for?
  • Is the move properly prepared?