When one parent decides that they are going to move or relocate with a significant distance away from the marital home, or where the child is being raised, during post-divorce, the opposing party (the other parent) can make a case for why the moving parent should not be allowed to take the child with them. This case is usually settled through a trial.

The non-relocating parent has the right to be notified at least 60-90 days before relocation. This gives them the chance to object. A formal objection should be filed and basically states that either the parent seeking relocation does not have the right to relocate the child because of the divorce decree that was already passed, and/or that this relocation will not be in the best interest of the child.

The parent who files the relocation notice should be aware of the necessary “tests” that they need to pass in order to persuade a judge to allow relocation to a different state.

The first part of this test revolves around proving that there is a legitimate reason to move. Two common claims made are that the relocating parent found a better job with more income that could not or was not available in the current location, or that the relocating parent has a new life setup, with a new spouse, and that they need to move in order to start a “new life”.

The second part, which is much more complicated is centered on the best interests of the child in question. Ultimately, the judge has three factors to consider: each of the parent’s motives for asking or refusing permission for the relocation, how the move can affect the child’s life, and finally how the move and the subsequent new visitation schedule will impact the relationship between the child and the “left-behind” parent.

Take note that the quality of life test is much more complicated and complex than determining motives. You should speak to a child custody attorney to draw up a way to show that you either pass both these tests or that your ex-spouse should not be granted this right.