After a divorce, life changes and it often leads to significant decisions, including the possibility of moving to a new location. When children are part of this equation, the situation becomes even more complex.
In Washington state, specific rules apply to child relocation after a divorce.
Washington’s child relocation law
Washington’s child relocation law is primarily concerned with the child’s best interests. If you are the primary custodial parent and wish to relocate with your child, you must give notice to the noncustodial parent. The law provides specific details on how and when you need to give this notice.
The noncustodial parent has a right to object to the relocation. If they do object, they must do so formally and a hearing will take place. The court will then decide on the relocation based on the child’s best interests. Factors considered by the court include the child’s relationship with both parents, reasons for the move and the potential impact on the child’s well-being.
Implications of not following child relocation laws
Not following the proper procedures for child relocation can have severe consequences. You could face legal repercussions if you move without giving appropriate notice or contrary to a court order.
It could also negatively impact your custodial rights. The court could change the custody arrangement, granting more rights to the noncustodial parent.
A move can be an exciting new chapter in your life, but you cannot simply move with your child after a divorce without taking the proper steps. You need to consider not only the legal requirements but also the emotional impact such a move could have on your child.