If you have considered moving your child after separating from your spouse, there are several Connecticut child custody laws you must first evaluate. Everyone deserves a fresh start. However, moving your child in Connecticut may impact his or her relationship with the other parent. It is possible to move with your child if you are the custodial parent. You must first have a good reason for relocation and prove that the move is in the best interest of the child.
Before you may move your child, the court will consider many statutory factors. One such element is whether the other parent is opposed to relocating the child. Will relocating your child affect the other parent’s visitation rights? Good reasons to relocate a child, such as for stability, will also be factored into the court’s decision. See the following guidelines to learn more about parental relocation in Connecticut.
Connecticut’s Guidelines for Parental Relocation
A parent who wants to relocate a child may do so with the court’s approval. Even if you have full custody, moving your child must be something both parents agree to. At the very least, the stipulations under which the child moves must be decided in court. Child custody relocation laws are stringent and offer both parents the chance to communicate their desires regarding the child moving. The court will base its decision on several factors regarding both parents, the child, and their collective history.
Factors Considered When Moving a Child
Regardless of your relationship status with your child’s spouse, neither parent can permanently move your child without consent from the court. If moving your child is your goal, the Connecticut court system will consider the following factors:
- The reason you want to move your child.
- The other parent’s reasons to oppose the move.
- The bond each parent has with the child.
- How relocating your child will affect his or her relationship with the other parent.
Does moving your child affect current custody agreements?
If you request to relocate your child in Connecticut, the court will decide if the move affects the custody and visitation agreements already in place. Moving to a neighboring city or county will not likely affect the nonmoving parent’s ability to maintain visitation rights. Conversely, moving a child out of state will drastically alter the current visitation agreement. If you plan to move your child to a location which cannot be reasonably traveled to by the nonmoving parent, the court may deny your request. Before filing to relocate with your child, consider how your intended move will impact the other parent’s relationship with him or her.
Relocating Parents Have the Burden of Proof
If your plan to move your child in Connecticut will fundamentally disrupt the other parent’s visitation schedule, you must prove:
- The legitimacy of the move. Seeking to obstruct the child’s relationship with the nonmoving parent is not a legitimate reason.
- Why moving your child to the new location is reasonable. For example, the parent who desires to move has been offered a job which will financially improve the life of the child.
- The move is in the child’s best interest. For instance, the child will be educationally challenged, closer to loving family members, or away from an abusive party.
Failure to meet the burden of proof may result in the denial of your motion to relocate your child. Having an understanding of the stipulations set forth by the Best Interest of the Child Standard in Connecticut will improve your chances of successfully moving your child.
Best Interest of the Child Standard in Connecticut
When relocating your child after a breakup, you must prove to a court that the move is in the best interest of the child. This basically asserts that moving your child will ultimately benefit him or her over the long-term. The Connecticut court’s decision will be based on, but not be limited to:
- The developmental needs of the child.
- Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs.
- The child’s preference regarding with which parent he or she wants to reside.
- How the move will impact the child’s current relationships with nonmoving family members.
- The willingness and the realistic ability of the nonmoving parent to maintain a relationship with the child.
The court’s ruling will factor in whether your child has suffered abuse. The court considers each parent’s physical and mental health. A parent’s possibly manipulative intentions will be examined as well. If the proposed move will educationally, financially, or emotionally benefit the child, this goes a long way in building a parent’s case for relocating with a child. Being able to provide a stable home environment while still being able to maintain reasonable visitation rights with the other parent may also result in a favorable ruling.
If you have questions about child relocation in Connecticut, attorney Susan T. Perkins can help you assess your options.