There are many reasons why you might want to relocate after your divorce. Maybe you’ve received an amazing job offer in a different city or state, or maybe you’ve decided to go back to college to finish your degree. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to understand Kentucky law before your move, so you don’t run into problems with the court.
Do I have to notify the court before I move?
Before you try to move, you are required to file a written notice with the court of your intention to move. You must also notify your children’s other parent that you plan to move. These notices must contain your new address and the date of your relocation. In most situations it is unwise to relocate prior to the court issuing an order granting your request. There are some distinctions if domestic violence is involved.
What factors does the court consider when deciding?
When deciding whether you can move, courts will look at things such as how far the move is, the reason for the move, how difficult it will be for the other parent to maintain a relationship and – above all – the best interest of the child. Most often the relocation must benefit the child not the parent.
Can I lose custody of my children if I move?
Yes. If your move will affect your ex-spouse’s ability to see the children according to your court mandated time-sharing schedule, or if the court perceives your move as creating instability for the children, the court can modify custody or parenting time. After receipt of your Notice to Relocate your ex-spouse has twenty days to file a motion with the court to modify custody or the time-sharing schedule.
If they file such a motion within twenty days of being notified of your intention to move, then the judge will decide whether or not it is appropriate to modify custody.
What if my ex-spouse relocated with the kids without telling me?
If you discover your ex-spouse relocated with the children without informing you or the court, you should consult an attorney immediately. The court should be notified. Kentucky family courts do not take kindly to what they perceive as efforts by one parent to take a child away from the other parent.
In addition, there are statutes such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act which will allow the court to modify your child custody even if your ex-spouse took the child to a different state.
Relocation with children after a divorce can be a very complex process. If you follow Kentucky law closely, and don’t violate any court orders, you will hopefully be able to relocate without any trouble.