In the state of Georgia, a custodial parent may be contemplating a move out of state for a variety of reasons: a new job, marriage, or simply a fresh start. But the question arises, “Can the custodial parent move out of state?” The answer, while usually “yes”, ultimately depends on a range of factors, including the best interests of the child and the details of the custody agreement.
Can the Custodial Parent Move Out of State?
In Georgia, a custodial parent has the right to relocate, but it’s not as simple as packing up and moving. There are legal procedures to follow, and the non-custodial parent can contest the move. If the court finds that the move might harm the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent, they might deny the request.
How Does Custody Work if One Parent Moves Out of State?
When a custodial parent moves out of state, the court must consider several factors to determine how custody will work. They look at the distance of the move, the reason for the move, the age and needs of the child, and the ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate.
Moving Out of State with Child No Custody Agreement
Without a custody agreement, things can get complicated. In Georgia, until there’s a court order, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities. A parent can’t just move out of state with the child without the other parent’s consent or a court order.
How to Get Permission to Move Out of State with Child
To get permission to move out of state with a child, the custodial parent must provide written notice to the non-custodial parent – usually in accordance with the Parenting Plan. If the non-custodial parent objects, then they will need to file a Modification in order to seek to change custody or the order. A custodial parent can also make the first move to file for a Modification of the prior court’s custody order, seeking for the court to approve of that parent’s move. If the parties can not reach an agreement in this matter, a hearing will be scheduled where both parents can present their case.
Reasons a Judge Will Deny Relocation
A judge can deny relocation if it appears that the move is intended to limit the non-custodial parent’s access to the child or if it’s not in the child’s best interests. Factors like the child’s ties to their community, school, or extended family can also influence the decision.
How Far Can a Parent Move with Joint Custody in Georgia?
In joint custody situations in Georgia, generally a parent cannot move more than 50 miles from the other parent without the court’s permission. This is to ensure that both parents can maintain a meaningful relationship with the child.
However, the parties’ parenting plan may have a shorter or further distance of an allowed relocation, so make sure you know the details of your own custody arrangement, to know for sure what is acceptable in your specific case.
Non-Custodial Parent Moving Out of State Georgia
If the non-custodial parent decides to move out of state, they must still adhere to the visitation schedule. The court may adjust the schedule to accommodate the distance, but the parent is typically responsible for any additional travel costs.
Also, in order to protect your rights as either the custodial parent staying in Georgia or the non-custodial parent moving out of Georgia, it is important to memorialize any updates to custody agreement with the original court in Georgia, otherwise you could be found in contempt of the court’s prior order, if you do not adhere to it to a “t”. This is called filing for a modification action. You can do this by consent with the other parent, or you can do this without their consent, to ask the court to update the order to what you are seeking, and also for the best interest of the child.
Out of State Visitation Rights for Fathers
Fathers who live out of state have the same visitation rights as those who live in state. The court will consider the father’s ability to maintain a relationship with the child when determining visitation, and the court may put the costs of travel on the father.
Single Mother Moving Out of State with Child
A single mother can move out of state with her child, but she must give the child’s father the opportunity to object or request custody. If there’s no formal custody agreement or court order, she should seek legal counsel to understand her rights and responsibilities. Otherwise, she may find herself in court, with the child’s father demanding rights.
Moving out of state as a custodial parent in Georgia is possible, but it requires careful planning, open communication, and potentially court involvement. Always consult with a family law attorney to ensure you’re acting in the best interests of your child and complying with all legal requirements.