Northern Virginia Family Law Firm Focuses on Custodial Parent Relocations
Arlington, Virginia Divorce Lawyer Advocates for Parents in Family Court
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) permits the enforcement of custody orders in 49 states, including Virginia. Under the UCCJEA, similar laws are applied in all states regarding the rules for relocation of minor children. Although parents are able to freely move from one state to another, with only minor restrictions; it is very difficult to relocate with minor children where the other parent does not agree for you to remove the minor children from Virginia.
If you are a divorced spouse with children, even if you have joint legal custody, it is very difficult to move to another state or geographic location when the other parent disagrees with the move. The first place to start is to obtain sound legal advice from an experienced family law attorney concerning your exact fact pattern, as every case is different. Renegotiation of your current custodial and visitation orders is the place to start with the guidance of your experienced family law attorney. Keep in mind the burden to show that the relocation is in the best interest of the child(ren) and not the parent who desires to relocate, is on the parent who is attempting to relocate. It is not an easy burden to prove.
The Best Interests Standard
If you find yourself in a position, where agreement is impossible you will have no choice but to litigate in order to prove that your move is in the best interest of the child(ren). Courts use a number of factors to balance and determine what is in the child(rens) best interest including but not limited to:
- The effect relocation will have on the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child.
- How dramatically the move will affect the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights.
- The reasons why the custodial parent wants to relocate.
- The parties financial situation and how commuting on visitations may affect the children.
If you are able to meet the very high burden of proving that your relocation is in the best interest of the child(ren), the court will then modify the visitation schedule to ensure both parents have continuing and meaningful contact with both parents. Typically one parent will get extended summer time and holiday visitation while the other parent will receive the majority of the academic school year. Distance, financial resources, and affect of travel on the children may also affect the outcome of the court’s ruling on relocation cases.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Family Law Attorney Today
If you need competent legal advice regarding a parental relocation, Claudia Zucker has been representing Virginia clients in family court for more than twenty-six years. Contact her online or call (703) 596-1005 to schedule your initial consultation today. She is available by telephone, various video chat methods, and in person at your convenience.