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Our lives are pretty mobile nowadays. You might find yourself wanting to move for a new job or to be closer to extended family members, or maybe you’re looking for better opportunities for your child. Regardless of the reasons for moving, the chances are that you won’t be able to just pack up and move with your child if there’s an existing child custody order. Instead, you’ll have to navigate the law to ensure that you’re not putting your child custody arrangement at risk.

Ohio’s law on parental relocation

Under Ohio law, a custodial parent is required to file a notice of intent to relocate with the court. That notice is provided to the noncustodial parent who then has the opportunity to object to the move. If an objection is filed, then the court will schedule the matter for a hearing to hear argument.

When deciding whether to allow a custodial parent to relocate with the child, the court will determine if the move is in the child’s best interests. As such, the court will consider a number of factors. Amongst them are:

  • The motivation behind the proposed move
  • The distance the move will create between the child and his or her noncustodial parent
  • The child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent
  • The likelihood that the custodial parent will foster a relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent if the move is allowed to occur
  • The child’s ties to the community that he or she is potentially moving away from and to.

There may be other factors that the court takes into consideration, so you’ll need to be thoroughly prepared when addressing these matters.

Know how to represent your and your child’s best interests

When dealing with child custody matters, you need to make every argument speak to your child’s best interests. If you’re trying to move for a career opportunity, for example, you might be able to argue that an increased salary will allow you to better provide for your child’s physical, emotional, social, and cultural needs. Providing concrete examples is always helpful.

These matters are often very delicate and can cause a lot of tension between parents. But don’t let emotions get in the way of your ultimate goal. This is where an experienced attorney may be able to help out.