Nancy L. Sponseller

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The child’s best interest and move-away divorce

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

When questions of child custody arise for divorced parents in Ohio, legal issues can become more challenging than they likely already were. Adding in a custodial parent who wants or needs to move away can make things even more difficult. Many courts must verify that the requested move will be in the best interests of the child before they will grant the parent’s request to move with the child.

Critics of the court-approval child custody system have noted that, even under the court’s watch, children can still suffer. For instance, if a custodial parent’s request to move is denied and the parent has no choice but to move, the child often will enter the custody of the non-custodial parent – a person with whom the child may have built less of a relationship. If the request is granted and the custodial parent moves with the child, then the child is distanced from the non-custodial parent, and that relationship suffers.

Each state has its own set of criteria for assessing the necessities and benefits of these moves. Many states must be able to see that the stresses and disruption of the move are outweighed by benefits. For instance, if a parent is moving somewhere where he or she can have a better job with higher pay, the move may be more likely to be approved. In some areas, children who are old enough or otherwise ruled competent may give a statement as to which parent they would prefer to live with.

For parents navigating a post-divorce move, seeking the advice of an attorney with experience in family law might help simplify the process. Attorneys often have a detailed knowledge of their respective states’ criteria for having a move approved, and they could help parents to understand the legal intricacies of child support.

Source: The Huffington Post, “In the Child’s Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases“, Lisa Helfend Meyer, February 12, 2014