After a divorce has been entered, one party or the other sometimes decides to relocate, either out of necessity or to pursue better opportunities.
This can be a difficult situation where minor children are involved.
Oftentimes, if joint physical custody is shared by the parties, the children will remain with the non-relocating parent. Joint physical custody presumes that the parents will remain in relative close geographical proximity to each other to facilitate the frequent exchanges of the children that are necessary.
If the relocating parent has primary physical custody of the children, relocation will often mean a different parent-time schedule for the non-custodial parent.
The relocating parent must, if possible, give 60 days’ advance written notice of intent to relocate. The other parent may then file a request for a court hearing to address relocation issues, including things such as parent-time and travel expenses. Also at issue may be the custodial parent’s reasons for relocating.
This code sets forth a presumptive out-of-state parent-time schedule for the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent will typically then have no less time that the schedule set forth in the statute.
The non-custodial parent will have at least one-half of every summer break. In addition, they will have every other fall break, Thanksgiving break, winter break and spring break. This will amount to about four times a year that the non-custodial parent will have blocks of time with the children.
In addition, the non-custodial parent, at his or her option and expense, will have the opportunity to visit the children every month on a weekend, with reasonable advance notice to the custodial parent.
Sharing of travel expenses can be a big issue in relocation cases. The statute provides for a presumption that the relocating parent will pay for travel expenses associated with the non-custodial parent’s parent-time, except for the summer visit, for which travel expenses are shared equally.
Relocation is difficult because the distance separating the children from the non-custodial parent will usually mean less frequent contact and less time with the children. Relocating custodial parents will do well to consider whether or not a relocation is truly necessary and in the children’s best interests.
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.
When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.