You are divorced and have an opportunity for a better life in a state other than Virginia. Maybe the move will take you closer to your family, or perhaps you have been offered a better job. Regardless of the reason, if you believe it is the right decision for you, you should be free to make the move. However, if you have children and share custody with your ex, you will have to get their consent or seek permission from the court to relocate. Before taking the first step, however, talk to our divorce and custody lawyer in Fairfax. We will make sure you go about it in a way that gives you the best chance for success.
A Judge Will Decide What Is in the Best Interests of the Child
In a best-case scenario, the court will want children to live close to both parents. However, that doesn’t mean a judge won’t approve a request to move out of state with your children. If you can convince the judge that the move is in the best interests of the children, the court might approve it, even if you don’t have the cooperation of the other parent. Factors that will help make your case include:
- You are the primary caretaker.
- The other parent is not very involved in the child’s life.
- The move will not impact the child’s education.
- The move will not affect the child’s contact with other family members and caregivers.
- Your standard of living or the child’s access to education will improve with the move.
If the judge finds in your favor and you are cleared to move out of state, your custody agreement will have to be modified to reflect the change. For example, your ex might be given the whole summer or most of winter break with the children to offset the time they cannot spend with them once you move. The custody agreement can be drafted in Virginia and taken to the other state under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).
Do You Need to Speak to a Virginia Child Custody Attorney?
If you need to modify a custody order, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia divorce and child custody attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Fairfax, Virginia, law office at (703) 277-2811 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and look forward to helping you.