While the court still is the ultimate arbitrator of the best interest of the child, coming to court with a plan agreed upon by both parties is the path that gives you the best chance at being able to relocate. Mediating an agreement still requires your attention to the issues raised in planning and litigation, and is more likely to succeed under the guidance of an attorney.
Fundamentally, this process is a way to negotiate in hopes of securing an agreement before going to court rather than having the court have to decide in a dispute over a renegotiated plan. Central to this process is preparing a settlement packet or proposal which includes a new schedule of visitation for the non-relocating party. Important here is coming up with ways to accommodate the disruption that relocating will cause. This could include things like establishing blocks of time for visitation – e.g. summers and school breaks – rather than weekends. It might also include a financial component if the relocation might incur increased costs for the non relocating parent. In addition, the packet should highlight the positive aspects of the move for the child. The information you have gathered in the planning and litigation stages will be the source of this part of your report. Again, this underscores the necessity of hiring an attorney who specializes in family law and who has experience in the conferral process.
Moving to a new place on its own is a major life event and it is further complicated for divorced parents. We hope that this article has opened your eyes to the range of issues that need to be considered around parenting agreements in your decision to relocate. Hiring a good attorney can ensure that you have covered all of your bases in this decision. In addition to saving you money down the road, it can take much of the stress out of the process.
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