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Relocation

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Salt Lake City Move-Away Cases

Even if you have sole custody of your children, you cannot move any great distance away from your current residence without first obtaining a formal modification to the court orders concerning child custody and parent time. The noncustodial parent has a right to challenge a proposed relocation, and even if he or she has already consented to letting the children move, you still must bring the matter before a family law judge for formal approval. Under the provisions of Utah Code §30-3-37, “Relocation,” this is mandatory in cases where the planned move will take the children 150 miles or more from the residence of the other parent.

Standard For Approval Of Parental Relocation

Before the judge will approve a petition for relocating with children, it is necessary to demonstrate that the move would serve the best interests of the children, which is necessary and not merely an attempt to distance them from the other parent out of spite. Common grounds for parental relocation include an offer for a much better job in another city or state, a desire to be closer to an extended network of friends and family, or to get away from a parent with a history of child abuse or domestic violence.

Considerations In Parental Move-Away Cases

The law on parental relocation requires that you provide written notice to the other parent within 60 days of the date of the move. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not to approve the order. If the move does not appear to be in the children’s best interests, the judge may decide to order a change of child custody so that they may remain in the area. If the move is approved, the judge will determine a schedule for visitation and allocate the costs of transportation so that the children can travel to spend time with the noncustodial parent. Factors that will be considered in this include:

  • The reasons why the parent is relocating
  • What additional expenses and difficulties will be imposed on the parents
  • The extent of each parent’s financial resources
  • Any other factors that seem necessary or relevant

Schedule Of Visitation After Relocation With Children

In addition, the Utah relocation statute includes specific guidelines for apportioning parenting time over the various holidays and school vacations throughout the year. It also provides the noncustodial parent with the option of spending one weekend per month with the children, though the expenses for transportation on such visits are to be paid by the visiting parent. Whether you are planning to move or if you are concerned about safeguarding your parental rights in the face of a proposed move, you can come to the Law Office of David Pedrazas for help from a Salt Lake City divorce attorney with 20 years of experience and a track record that includes more than 1,000 divorce and family law cases.