Divorced parents in St. Paul may find that it is not very simple to pack up and leave Minnesota, or even to move to another area of the state. There are many child custody issues that come into play when a divorced parent decides, for whatever reason, that he or she would like to relocate.
Sometimes, a potential relocation is addressed specifically in a divorce agreement, and those who are going through a divorce may want to talk about this with their family law attorneys if they think relocation could become an issue. In most cases, however, relocation terms are not included in this document and the parent who wishes to relocate must file a petition in family court to request permission to relocate.
Because each jurisdiction operates a bit differently, it will be important to talk to a family law attorney about where to file the petition and what information to include. A petitioner could also contact the family court clerk's office with such questions.
Most often, the petition will need to include the reason behind your pending move. These might be due to financial factors or to be closer to family, for example.
If the relocation will affect your ex's parenting time rights, you will need to address this in the petition. How will you allow your child to make up this time with his or her other parent? Some parents are able to do this by changing their parenting schedule a bit, sometimes by allowing the other parent to have custody of the children during school vacations or on summer break.
Nonetheless, family law courts are often hesitant to allow the relocation if it will obstruct the child's relationship with the non-custodial parent. In these cases it is necessary to show the court why the relocation is in the child's best interest--as this is the court's chief concern. An example would be that perhaps the child will be better off moving because of the change of a school district.
Relocation with a child is not only a serious family decision for single parents, but it is also a legal decision. It is important to take this seriously and go through the proper legal channels so that a court cannot fault you for neglecting an earlier established child custody agreement.
Source: Huffington Post, "How Do I Relocate After Obtaining Custody of My Children," Eyal Talassazan, July 2, 2012