Once a parenting plan is issued in a divorce settlement, there may come a time when the terms of the plan are no longer feasible for the parents. Changes in life circumstances occur, and in some situations, it may require the parenting plan and/or divorce settlement to be modified by the court. When either parent moves a significant distance from the other parent, it may qualify for a modification, depending on the details surrounding the case. At the Law Offices of Lisa Stern, we understand that parental relocation is a somewhat common occurrence between parents; however, there are certain factors the court will look at when determining whether a modification will be granted.
Most importantly, the judge presiding over the case will look to see that the best interests of the child are being met. In order to qualify for a modification, the parents’ move must result in an improved quality of life for the child, as well as the parent. For example, a parent is offered a new job that would lead to increased pay or the child would be able to go to a better school. In addition, the parent who is moving should do his or her best to comply with the current visitation order. This may mean traveling an additional distance for a period of time.
Furthermore, the non-custodial parent should be able to see the child on a regular basis if desired. This means that the custodial parent may not be able to relocate the child a significant distance making it difficult for the non-custodial parent to see his or her child.
For more information on divorce modifications, visit our page on parental relocation.