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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Relocating Children During & After Maryland Divorce

Written by Amar Weisman » November 28, 2014 »

Divorcing couples face a variety of issues, some of which can be resolved independently and others that require court intervention. Beyond the typical questions of property division and support, couples who share children also face custody issues. Practically any Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer knows in many cases, parents reach their own agreements on child custody simply because they want to do what is in the best interest of the child. However, there are times when one parent needs, or wants, to relocate after the divorce is finalized — what happens then? Can a parent move and take the child with him or her?

Parental Rights Regarding Relocation

During the divorce process, courts make orders with respect to custody and visitation rights of each parent. But there may come a time after the divorce when one parent decides to relocate with the child. In Maryland, when one parent wishes to move with a child, the other parent can object to the move, particularly if it disrupts his or her custody rights.

If the parents cannot reach an agreement regarding the child's relocation, they can ask the court to intervene and modify the visitation and/or custody order. From a legal standpoint, relocating a child is considered a "per se material change in circumstances," which requires a court to review custody. However, your Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer will tell you that the relocation must be of such a distance that it interferes with the parents' current visitation and custody agreement.

Always Do What is in the Best Interest of the Child

It is not uncommon for one parent to decide to move during the divorce process, especially in cases where the parent is interested in pursuing job opportunities elsewhere in the U.S. If the issue arises during the divorce, the law requires the moving parent to give his or her spouse a 90-day notice and alert the court of the intention to move out of the area.

If there is an urgent need for the move such that the moving parent cannot provide a 90-day notice to the other parent, the court will consider the relocation's affect on the child and can change the custody arrangement accordingly. Moving parents should note that courts will want specifics regarding the reasons for relocation. For instance, is the parent moving for financial reasons? Is the move necessary because of urgent circumstances? Courts tend to look more favorably on a parent's request to move if he or she is relocating for higher paying work, better schools or a safer neighborhood.

A court cannot deprive a parent from his or her right to move; however, it can decide whether it is in the best interest of the child to relocate with that parent. Relocation is often a difficult issue to handle, but with the help of a skilled lawyer, alternate arrangements can be made to accommodate the needs of all involved.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.