Strategies for the Parent Objecting to the Move-Away

The following are strategies that should be considered by the parent who is objecting to the move. However, every situation is unique, and you should consult with a competent attorney with respect to your own situation.

  1. Attempt to negotiate an initial custody agreement that provides for joint physical custody and that provides you as much of a timeshare as possible.
  2. Attempt to negotiate an initial custody agreement that provides that neither parent can change the residence of the child from the surrounding area without the court’s permission.
  3. Encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent.
  4. Be involved in the major decisions affecting your child, such as education, health care, extra-curricular activities.
  5. Avoid making negative comments about the other parent to or in the presence of the child.
  6. Exercise all of your visitation rights. Do not break visitation plans unless absolutely necessary, and if you have to break plans, reschedule immediately.
  7. If the custodial parent does not allow you to see the child during your scheduled visitation time, maintain a calendar that documents each time the custodial parent did not allow you to see the child and your follow-up communications.
  8. If the custodial parent requests the right to move the child, ask for a thorough custody evaluation and an evidentiary hearing or trial where you can present evidence on the reasons against the move.
  9. Be prepared to tell the custody evaluator and the court your proposed custody/visitation plan for how you will take care of the child if the other parent moves away without the child.
  10. Be prepared to tell the custody evaluator and the court who will care for the child while you are at work, whether it is family, day-care, or after-school programs.
  11. Make sure you know the names of the child’s best friends, teachers, and doctors.
  12. Confer with a lawyer as soon as you find out about a possible move-away situation. You need sufficient time for a custody evaluation, potential depositions, and a trial.

Facing a move-away dispute? Call today to get Moradi Saslaw LLP on your side.