How does parental relocation affect child custody?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2024 | Child Custody |

When one parent decides to relocate to another state, it can significantly impact child custody arrangements.

New Hampshire has specific laws and considerations governing such situations.

New Hampshire’s approach to parental relocation

The state places a high value on the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. When a parent proposes to move out of state, the court examines various factors to ensure the child’s well-being remains a top priority. The court scrutinizes the impact of the relocation on the child’s relationships, schooling and overall stability.

Modification of custody orders

If a parent with primary physical custody decides to relocate, it may lead to the modification of existing custody orders. The non-relocating parent can petition the court for a modification based on the change in circumstances. The court will assess whether the move is in the child’s best interests. It will consider factors like the child’s age, adjustment to the new environment and the ability of both parents to foster a positive relationship.

Communication and co-parenting plans

Maintaining open communication between parents is important during relocation. Co-parenting plans may need adjustments to accommodate the physical distance between households. The court may encourage parents to create a detailed plan addressing visitation schedules, transportation arrangements and methods of communication to ensure the continued involvement of both parents in the child’s life.

While post-divorce life is a fresh start that may mean relocating for a job opportunity or to be closer to family, a big move can have negative effects on some children. As childhood depression is on the rise, with approximately 2.7 million dealing with severe depression, parents considering relocation should take into account its potential long-term impact.