Rockville, Maryland Parent Relocation Lawyers
Maryland courts have held that it is in the minor children’s best interests to have a meaningful and healthy relationship with both parents (if both parents are considered fit parents). Maintaining relationships between a parent and child can be complicated when changes in circumstances affect the welfare of the child.
A parent’s decision to relocate with a child away from the non-custodial parent may have a significant impact on the child, the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent, and relationships with extended family members. There are many reasons a parent may wish to relocate including employment transfers and opportunities, being closer to a family network, financial circumstances, and educational opportunities.
If the parents are subject to an existing court order regarding custody or time-sharing, the parent wishing to relocate may need to obtain the approval of the court before relocating unless an agreement can be reached with the other parent. In Maryland, the courts may require that the party seeking to relocate provide a minimum notice of 90 days (to be provided in writing) of the intention to relocate whether the move is within or outside of Maryland (or even overseas). This provides the non-relocating parent the opportunity to challenge the relocation.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the relocation, the parent seeking to move may initiate court proceedings to modify the existing court order. In that circumstance, the trial court will conduct a trial, consider the evidence of each party, and make a final determination consistent with the best interest of the child. In the event the relocation request is granted, the court will modify the visitation arrangements between the child and non-relocating parent. At trial, the court will consider multiple factors such as:
- Reason for the relocation
- Geographic distance of the move
- Age of the child
- Relationship between the child and each parent
- Child’s relationships with schools and friends
- Educational opportunities for the child
- Wishes of the child taking into account the age and maturity of the child
- The logistics in coordinating visitation between the child and non-relocating parent
- The impact the relocation will have on the child’s quality of life
Each factor is case specific, and each factor may have different weight depending on the facts of the case. If you are contemplating a move with your child, or the other parent has notified you of possible relocation, please call us at (240) 386-8705 for a consultation. These types of cases can be extremely difficult to resolve by agreement because visitation becomes more difficult the further a parent moves away from the other. We can discuss the facts of your case, the reasons for considering a move or resisting a move, and the legal options available to you.
Contact a divorce lawyer near you. The Law Firm of Minshew & Ahluwalia LLP is conveniently located in Rockville, Maryland, near the District and Circuit Courthouses for Montgomery County, Maryland and within walking distance to the Rockville Metro Station on the Red Line. Free parking is also available.