Child custody issues are often emotional and complex. The goal is for both parents to try and work amicably together in the children’s best interests. Unfortunately, that does not always happen, and as a result, the kids may become victims of two fighting parents who are more determined to hurt each other than work together for their children’s well-being.
When a parent wants to move across state lines and take the children, this usually poses major problems unless the other parent agrees. Even then, difficulties may arise. Whether the parents have a shared custody agreement, which is how most situations are working out today in family court, or if one parent has majority custody, moving the child to another state is problematic, especially if the other parent is opposed. Issues related to which school the child will attend, religious preferences, visitation, and holidays may be subject to change or difficult to uphold.
When two parents with joint custody or shared custody try to raise children in two locations, the children will likely experience negative consequences. It is hard enough for kids to travel across town to spend part of the week with Mom and the rest of it with Dad. Imagine forcing children to adapt to a two-state scenario. While it is done under certain circumstances, it is not easy.
Furthermore, legal jurisdiction over the children’s well-being and the parents’ rights may vary from one state to another. A legal decision may not be binding in another state, adding to the confusion. Parents may receive conflicting counsel and be guided by differing laws concerning their children.
If a parent chooses to move for personal reasons to another state and take the children, for example, to accept a job offer, the custody issue may need to be revisited in court. Perhaps the children could stay with the non-relocating parent in order to retain their schools, friends, and everyday routine, and visit the relocating parent on holidays, vacations, and other occasions.
However, if a parent must relocate for health treatment, safety issues from being a protected witness in a court trial, or another mandatory reason, taking the children may be more open for discussion within a legal framework.
A family law attorney can help to clarify the circumstances and work with the family to resolve issues to provide the children with the best possible outcome. Call Gary J. Natale at 973-324-9711 or contact us online today.