Creating a parenting plan after a divorce is rarely an easy task. It involves navigating each individual’s particular wishes and schedules so that both parents get a fair share of rights and responsibilities.
If one parent decides to move further away, however, it can complicate your shared visitation schedule. You can determine how best to proceed by understanding how the relocation process might work for a divorced parent and how you can establish healthy parenting time after the move.
Understand the relocation process
When a noncustodial parent decides to move away, even out of state, it is not likely to require the permission of the court. That parent might simply have to accept that it may be more difficult to see their child after relocation across a large distance.
For a parent with primary custody or joint custody, however, the Massachusetts court case of D.C. vs. J.S. establishes a precedent by which only a move within the state that does not disrupt the child’s relationship with the other parent may go without an application to the court. For an out-of-state relocation, the court will make a decision based on the family’s circumstances.
Compromise on visitation periods
When one parent does move a significant distance away, especially across state lines, a regular visitation schedule may no longer be viable. The best time for the child to see their noncustodial parent is likely during holiday or vacation periods when all parties are available for long travels and stays.
Reaching a mutually-agreeable schedule is necessary when building a parenting plan under any circumstances. For co-parents living a great distance away, a high level of compromise becomes even more important for both the adults and the children involved.