stop parent from moving

Can We Stop A Parent From Moving Away?

Goldberg Jones Child Custody, Goldberg Jones Radio Leave a Comment

Co-parenting after a divorce or break up is difficult in the best situations. Like when both parents live in the same city and get along reasonably well. What if the other parent wants to relocate with your child? Can you stop the other parent from moving away?

People move all the time for many reasons. Jobs, relationships, to be closer to family, these are all common motivations to relocate. Adding a child and a parenting plan into the mix makes things more difficult.

Rick Jones, one of our founding partners, regularly appears on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show. On the air, he takes family law questions from listeners. A recent caller has this very question.

Related Reading: My Son Wants to Move In With me, Can He?

Listen to the Conversation Below:

Caller: “I’ve been dating this guy for about a year. The baby mama of [his] ten-year-old son–they were never married but they have a parenting plan. She remarried on April Fools Day and she wants to take the kid to Montana. My boyfriend went and got a lawyer [and] put a lot of money down on this. And then the mama got a lawyer and she’s paying a pretty penny. What chance does daddy have to keep the child here?”

Rick: “You said it’s a ten-year-old child?”

Caller: “Ten-year-old little boy.”

Rick: “Relocation cases are pretty tough I assume the ‘baby mama’ has primary parenting? In other words, is she the primary parent?”

Caller: “Yes, and he gets them three weekends a month.”

Rick: “Okay, here’s what happens. Our world is allowed to be transitory or transient. [People] do move, for jobs, for relationships, etc. So trying to put handcuffs is a political issue. So far, Washington does come down, more often than not, on allowing a married parent to relocate.

“As long as they are not doing it for completely arbitrary reasons. Or, so long as there are not unique circumstances to the case.

“For example, let’s say this ten-year-old has special needs and has been in a perfectly aligned program for that child for the last three years here in Olympia. That would be an argument to say, this is different from a normal case.

“Otherwise, if it just sort of follows the norms, unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle. Doesn’t mean it can’t be won, [but] it’s going to be an uphill battle.”

Danny: “Wow. I would have thought it’s a gimme where the parent is not going to cross state lines without permission.”

Related Reading: Long-Distance Parenting During COVID-19

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