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Seeking to relocate with a child? Prepare for court scrutiny

Relocation with children to another state whether between married or unmarried couples requires extensive planning.  The moving parent needs either written permission from the nonmoving parent or a court order.  A court order involves an evidentiary hearing or trial unless the case settles.

Judges take relocation seriously due to the huge impact a move has on the non-custodial parent's rights to co-parent and be involved. A Nevada judge will zero in with laser-type focus when a contested matter before him or her involves the would-be relocation of one parent and a couple's children to another state.

And the intensity of that focus will be on whether the move will actually benefit the the parent and children involved, as well as the impact of the planned move on the visitation schedule. 

As we note on the Las Vegas Relocation with a Child page of our law firm's website, "Relocation cases can spur heated disputes based on the complex issues involved."

Even if he move is allowed the judge will absolutely insist on clarity and a parenting plan that centrally promotes the best interests of affected children and the rights of the non-moving parent. The relocation parent must establish that meaningful, frequent contact and association is possible between the children and the non-moving parent.  

And the legal standards for allowing the move are more difficult to meet for a parent who has joint physcal custody than for a parent who already has primary physical custody.  Many lawyers thus advise their clients to always seek joint physical custody so as to help defend against a  future proposed move by the other parent, even for parents who otherwise would not seek joint custody. 

A parent seeking to relocate with a child or contesting such a move must obtain timely and accurate guidance from a proven family law attorney both at the initial custody phase, or when the issue of relocation surfaces. It is wise to not even seek to relocate before consulting with a custody or divorce attorney who specializes in these complicated matters.  

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