When divorced parents live in the same city, co-parenting may not be easy, but at least both parents can see the child regularly and frequently. When one parent wants to move to another location, however, it’s a much bigger challenge to ensure that both parents continue to have meaningful contact with a child. Georgia judges balance the interests in a custodial parent wanting to move to a new location with a child, against the risk of damaging the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Georgia judges use a long list of factors when determining the custodial arrangement that serves the child’s best interests. The court is willing to look at virtually everything that could possibly impact a child’s health or wellbeing when determining custody.
Courts can also modify the custody arrangement if circumstances change. The change doesn’t necessarily have to negatively impact the children, but it must be significant. One parent moving to another state would certainly be a substantial enough change for the court to alter custody.
By law, a parent who is changing residences must give the other parent notification of the change at least 30 days prior to moving, and provide the full address of the new residence, so a non-custodial parent will have time to file a petition to modify visitation prior to the custodial parent moving with the child.
Judges must decide whether it’s in the child’s best interest to move with the relocating parent, without giving any benefit of the doubt to the custodial parent. Courts look at a whole host of issues when determining whether a relocation is in a child’s best interest. The judge won’t always grant a parent’s request to relocate with a child, nor will the court always transfer custody to the non-relocating parent. You need to know you rights; contact Anene Farrey & Associates.