Moving? Best Interest of the Child? Probably Not

written by Fred Campos
Moving? Best Interest of a Child? Probably Not

Moving? Best Interest of the Child? Probably Not by Fred Campos[Y]ou’ve been through it. A painful, maybe expensive trial that resulted in you getting the children. But you survived. You can finally put all that behind you and get on with your new life.

But something happens at work. Maybe the company expands. Or you land a contract that means big bucks to the organization. Or that big-time executive retires leaving a huge hole in the hierarchy.

Whatever the reason, there’s an opening. The ‘suits’ are tapping you for the upgrade. You are ecstatic; until you learn of a non-negotiable caveat to your situation.

They want you to move to another state.

Is Moving in the Best Interest of a Child?

Under the standard, “best interest of the child,” conditions been determined, maybe after several attempts to figure out what that exactly means. Now, with an upheaval, the situation has changed, maybe dramatically and you have to go back to the court and make your case that a move is still in the child’s best interest.

That might be a tough call and some orders have domicile restrictions.

Courts and Judges Don’t Favor the Custodial Parent Moving

According to, the court automatically assumes the move is not ‘in the child’s best interest,’ so you have to prove the court wrong, and the non-custodial parent will probably side with the court.

So what do you do?

What to Do if You’re Considering Moving

The court looks at several criteria:
1. Age and maturity of the child. If the child is old enough, the judge might want to speak with the child directly, and find out where he/she wants to live.

2. Distance between New and Old home. A move even to another state, might not be a great distance, and the less that distance the more likely the court will rule in favor of you.

3. Will the child’s quality of life improve? What about the schools? Recreational/leisure opportunities? Will the new residence have the same or better facilities than the place you left? Those and other factors will go into that decision.

Don’t Move, Consider the Relationship of the Other Parent

Other considerations will be made, the most significant being, “Will the child’s relationship with the mother be affected?” When that comes up, you need to have an answer ready, and make some compromises so the mother-child bond won’t be damaged. In my opinion, if you are the custodial parent, you must make sacrifices on behalf of living close to your Ex to facilitate a relationship with the other parent.

Because no matter all the other positives, that one is the most important.

What would you do in this situation? What other factors should be considered when contemplating a move?

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