Move with the Children

Move with the children (including out of State)

Many parents either begin a divorce or custody case with the goal of getting custody so he or she can then move with the children, or after a parent has custody, she or he may want to move away from where they’re living with the children. Often times the planned move is out of state, most typically to where the custodial parent has family support.

Moving with the ChildrenThe law regarding moving the children is complicated. Most parents have the belief that if they have custody he or she should be able to move with the children if they wish, just by giving the non-custodial parent notice.

Most judgments or parenting plans in Oregon will have a provision that requires that if the custodial parent wants to move more than 60 miles from their current residence he or she must give the other parent at least 45 days written notice. Generally then, the custodial parent can move with the children within 60 miles of his or her existing residence over any objection by the other parent.

However, the real complications begin when the custodial parent wants to move with the children any further than 60 miles. In Cooksey and Cooksey, 203 Or App 157 (2005 ) the court held that the parent who wants to move the children away from their existing living situation has the burden of proof to show that the move is in the children’s best interests, not the custodial parent’s best interests. A court is also to consider the right of the non-custodial parent to close contact with the children.

Many times custodial parents want to move with the children because either they or their new spouse have a job waiting for them out of state. They custodial parent will say that the move is in the children’s best interests because the custodial parent will be better able to provide for the children with greater financial resources that the new job will provide. However, often times that means the children will be moving away from other family members, not only the non-custodial parent, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The children may be leaving their schools, friends, pets and their community.

“Move” cases are very fact specific. If you are advocating for or against a planned move of the children it is very important to have an experienced attorney who knows the law and the factors that will cause a court to either rule against or in favor of a move. If you live in Bend, Redmond, or any region of Central Oregon and are considering a move with the children, or would simply like to set up an initial consultation with an experienced attorney, please contact me.