Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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How does parental relocation affect child custody?

If you have been awarded primary custody of your children and want to move out of Minnesota, you may face certain challenges if there is a parenting time agreement in place. Noncustodial parents have rights that may be violated if they do not agree to the relocation of the children. Since moving out of state is a matter that can affect child custody agreements, parenting time, the rights of the other parent and of the children, if you hold primary custody, you must petition the court for permission to relocate out of state.

According to The Office of the Revisor of Statutes, the courts will consider your request and rule in the best interests of the children in matters involving out-of-state relocation away from the noncustodial parent when there is an existing parenting time order. The other parent will need to show proof to the court as to why the relocation should not be granted if you are a victim of domestic abuse and the other parent is the abuser. Otherwise, you as the parent who has primary custody, must prove to the courts that the move will not affect your children emotionally, financially or negatively impact their quality of life and welfare.

To establish what the best interests of the children are, the courts will consider the potential effects of the relocation on your kids, their ages and cognitive development, who the children will be relocating with, the existing relationship between the children and the other parent, their wishes and if the move is being made with malicious intent to disrupt the relationship between your kids and the other parent. There are also other factors the courts will consider before a final decision is made. This information is educational in nature and should not be used as legal advice. 

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