Often a parent with custody (custodial parent) will have to relocate a substantial distance from the other parent (noncustodial parent). In general, if one parent has sole custody of the children the noncustodial parent must show that the relocation would cause detriment to the children.
Whether a parent has “sole” custody of the child is a factual determination made by the court based on the percentage of time the custodial parent has custody of the child. If a parent is granted sole custody in the judgment or the latest custody order the court will still look at how much time each parent spends with the child to determine if one parent actually has sole custody.
If the noncustodial parent can make a preliminary showing that relocation would be detrimental to the child then the court will evaluate whether it is in the best interest of the child to move with the custodial parent or whether there should be a change of custody. The court looks at 8 factors in determining whether the child should be allowed to relocate with the custodial parent. These factors are
1. Stability and continuity in the child’s life;
2. The distance of the move;
3. The age of the child;
4. The relationship of the child with both parents;
5. The relationship between the parents regarding the ability to communicate and willingness to put the child’s needs before there own;
6. The child’s wishes if the child is mature enough;
7. The reasons for the move; and
8. The extent of shared custody.