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Parenting agreements and relocating with your child

Raising your child as a co-parent creates a difficult dynamic if you want to move away from your current location. Many parents find themselves tied to the location where their child happens to be at the time of their divorce. If one co-parent wants to move for a better job or a better life in another place, for example, the other co-parent could nix the move by refusing to give permission.

Since one parent's wish to relocate could represent a significant issue in the years after your divorce, you may want to clarify how to handle the issue by including a series of specifically worded parenting provisions in your child custody agreement.

Parenting provisions that cover the issue of relocation

The following parenting provisions could help you at a later time if one parent wants to relocate:

The agreement of both parents before a move: The parents agree that they will not move with the child outside the current city, county or state without both parents providing their consent in writing or without a specific order from the court.

A 30-day notice of any wish to move: Before any plan to alter the child's residence, the parents will notify the other parent regarding the requested move at least 30 days before the intended move in writing via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This notification will give the planned future address of the new residence.

A 14-day deadline for objection to move: Parents will have 14 days in which to object to a proposed move. The objection to the move must be provided in writing via certified mail with a return receipt requested.

The renegotiation of the visitation schedule before a move: If both parents agree to the proposed move without objection, and the move renders the current visitation schedule unreasonable or causes the current visitation schedule to interfere with the child's best interests, the parents will renegotiate the visitation agreement before the move occurs.

Have you completed your parenting plan?

Your parenting plan and child custody agreement need to consider all future contingencies. The better you prepare for future circumstances -- and the better you clarify the terms for those circumstances -- the better you'll be able to navigate your co-parenting relationship in the years to come.

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