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What should parents know about relocating with children?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Child Custody

After parents divorce, there’s a chance that one may want to move. If shared custody is a concern, they will need to take the appropriate steps before that move can occur.

Understanding what needs to happen is critical for a parent who wants to move. The other parent should also understand their rights, in case they don’t consent to the move in question.

Notice requirements

One of the first legal obligations for a parent wishing to relocate with a child after a divorce in Iowa is to provide notice. This requirement is so the other parent is fully informed of the intended move, its potential impact on the child’s life and the existing custody arrangement. The notice must include details such as the proposed new address, the reasons for the move and a proposed revision to the custody schedule, if applicable.

Court approval

In cases where the non-relocating parent objects to the move or if the parents can’t agree on a new custody arrangement, the matter may need to be resolved in court. The Iowa courts will scrutinize the proposed relocation based on various factors that are all aimed at determining what is in the child’s best interest. These factors include the reason for the move, its potential benefits to the child and the impact on the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent.

Best interest of the child

In any child relocation case, the overriding principle is the child’s best interest. This standard allows the court to consider everything from the educational opportunities at the new location to the child’s emotional and physical well-being. The court also evaluates how the move affects the child’s relationships with both parents.

Communication is crucial

Open and early communication with a child’s other parent is crucial for parents who are contemplating a move with their children after a divorce. Attempting to reach an amicable agreement about the relocation and how it will affect the parenting plan can potentially prevent lengthy legal battles and foster a cooperative co-parenting environment.

Consulting with a legal professional who’s familiar with family law in Iowa can provide invaluable guidance about the legal intricacies of child relocation cases. Therefore, those who have questions and/or are in need of support can potentially benefit from reaching out as proactively as possible.