Move Away– This is an issue that gets repeatedly raised in divorce courts almost everywhere. The consequences of a court’s decision making in a move away case cannot be brushed away with indifference. The ugly fact remains: It does have a profound, long lasting impact on both parents and especially their children (more so the victims).
What complicates a move away?
Unlike the more common, usual fight over child custody, in which the parents fight it out over how much time they will get with the child in question, these move away cases are different as they sort of follow the “all or none” law. The move away parent usually sees the move as an ‘exit’ door out of the old life and an open ‘entry’ door that offers post divorce future whereas the stay- behind parent views it as a potential threat to his/ her parenthood.
Need I mention that the children are the worst hit in the whole move away scenario? Caught in the middle of this battle, children are often pressurized to choose between parents – Take my word for it, it’s a painful feeling. The fact remains that once chosen; the child’s relationship with the non custodial parent is altered forever, usually for worse.
This article is aimed at- not scaring the daylights out of you- NO but to provide you with an overview of how law in North Carolina regarding the move away issue has taken shape. Also, the intention is to provide parents with some basic guidelines, if god forbids, you find yourself in a similar situation. Let’s see how these move away cases are decided upon. The court’s decision is based on a determination of what arrangement is best suited for the child. If a parent has custody of the child for more than 60% of the time, that parent can be regarded as having the right to move the child without the consent of the other parent.
The non custodial parent, however, can still try to prevent such a move by convincing the court of law – stating that the move would be detrimental to the well being of the child, or is being carried out with the intention of eliminating the other parent’s contact with the child. Among many other things, court considers the following:
The distance of the proposed move, the age of the child in question, his/her relationship with either parents, the reason put forth for the intended move , the relationship between the parents and their willingness to see to their child’s interest above their own individual choices. Some of the strategies that the move-away parent can make use of include- Not interfering in the relationship between the child and the other parent, keeping all the relevant documents that contain the reasons for the move away ready, file the papers prior to the move and so on. On the other hand, the parent objecting to the move away can request the court to appoint a social worker for a thorough evaluation of both the parents.
For more information regarding the same, the team at McIlveen Family Law Firm will be there to extend a helping hand. Get in touch with us.