Child custody disputes involving relocation are among the most difficult to resolve.
Utah laws encourage divorced and never-married parents to work out their differences themselves, without bringing the matter to the court. However, if your ex wants to move out of state with the children and you don’t agree, working together to find an acceptable solution may not be possible.
In that case, consulting with an experienced Utah child custody attorney is your best course of action.
Your Ex Must Give Notice of Relocation
Unless your custody agreement contains a provision allowing the custodial parent to relocate, your ex cannot just pack up and move out of Utah — or farther than 150 miles away from their current home — no matter how good the reason.
According to Utah child custody law, your former spouse must notify you in writing at least 60 days before moving with the children. The relocation notice must provide information about the upcoming move as well as a proposed parent time arrangement.
Asking the Court for a Child Custody Hearing
If you receive a relocation notice from your ex and you object to the move, you can file a motion to request a court hearing.
You can petition the Utah courts for a hearing if you disagree with any of the details in the notice, including the proposed schedule for parent time and the division of transportation costs for visitation. At the hearing, the judge will determine whether to allow relocation, and if necessary, make changes in child custody, child support and/or the visitation schedule.
How the Court Makes a Decision on Relocation
When resolving a relocation dispute, the judge will consider whether the planned move is in the best interests of the child. Several factors go into making the decision, including:
The reason for the planned relocation
How the relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent may change as a result of the move
Whether a realistic and acceptable parent time schedule can be reached
The economic resources of both parents
The judge may decide against relocation. However, unless you can provide evidence that the move isn’t in your child’s best interest, your former spouse may be allowed to relocate.
Convincing the Utah courts to deny an out-of-state move isn’t easy, and having a skilled advocate in your corner can make all the difference. Rex B. Bushman, attorney at law, has decades of experience representing clients involved in child custody disputes and can protect your parental rights and interests.
If your ex wants to move out of state and you have concerns, Rex. B. Bushman can help secure the best possible parenting arrangement for you and your children. For expert legal advice regarding Utah child custody and relocation disputes, schedule a consultation today.