Parents may wish to relocate for any number of reasons, such as job opportunities, proximity to family members, military orders, or better school options. While the court will likely presume the move is in the best interests of the child, the other parent may not. Washington law requires that the relocating parent notify the other parent of their intent to move outside of the child’s school district. If the relocation is disputed, the other parent has an opportunity to contest it. Failure to provide a timely objection could result in the court automatically awarding approval of the relocation. The move may also require a modification of the Parenting Plan.
If you received a Notice of Intent to Relocate from the other parent, it is difficult, but not impossible, to provide evidence that the move will have negative ramifications for the child that outweigh the benefits to the child and parent who wish to move.
A move without appropriate notice may have a very negative impact on the court’s decision for final custody. Before solidifying any plans to relocate, or if you need to object to the other parent’s relocation, it is crucial to speak with a family law attorney.