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What to consider when relocating a child

When couples split up in South Carolina and share custody of a child, one of the pain points is relocation. There are many legitimate reasons the parent with primary custody may need to move. They may have landed a higher-paying job in another town. Or, they may wish to move back to their home state to receive family assistance with childcare. Will their ex allow it? If they do not, what can they do to prevent it?

According to FindLaw, different states have their own laws on child relocation. There are two main provisions in place. The first is express consent. Many states may require that the noncustodial parent consents to the relocation. Ideally, this would have occurred during the initial child custody discussions. Other states may only require the custodial parent to provide notice within a certain period in advance. There are also states that require both.

Additionally, states may consider whether or not the parent has a good faith reason for moving and if this will benefit the child. Qualifying reasons may include going back to college or moving to an area with a lower cost of living. Bad faith reasons would be retaliation or trying to move the child away from the other parent out of spite.

The American Bar Association implies that there may be instances where moving away from the ex may not be considered relocation in bad faith. This may include cases where there is a history of abuse or where the child has expressed a desire to cut ties with the minority parent. Whether or not a state honors the wishes of a child may be dependent on their age and maturity.

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