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Cross country custody issues

In today's mobile society there are more and more issues of custodial parents wishing to move with the children to locations that are far away from the non-custodial parent. It can make intra-family relations worse, especially when the original custody decision was part of a contested divorce.

One of the first things to consider before making such a move is that a family court will always put the well-being of the children first. It may not matter if the custodial parent has a great job offer or will be closer to a support system. While courts will consider those issues, the overriding issue will be how the move will impact the children's lives. It can become especially tricky if the non-custodial parent objects to the move. The custodial parent then has to prove that the children will only be minimally impacted by the separation and have an improved overall quality of life in the new location.

The parent making the move should also expect for loved ones and the court to be critical and investigate the motives behind the move. It may be better not to make a decision like this when emotions are still running high about the divorce.

Most people don't enter into marriage planning for a divorce, but it frequently happens despite the best of intentions. Custody issues may be hard to settle, and it is necessary for the best interests of the children to be at the forefront of all discussions. Both parents may benefit from mediation if they are unable to agree on the idea of the custodial parent moving with the children.

Source: The Huffington Post , "6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce", Andrea Moore, December 18, 2013

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