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There are various reasons for a divorced parent to want to move out of state. In your case, the reason is a promotion at work and a move to company offices in Virginia.

If you want your nine-year-old son to move with you, you must obtain the court’s approval and prepare to modify your existing child custody agreement.

The best interests standard

When there is a major move, the court is primarily interested in knowing that a child can adjust properly to a new environment and lifestyle, and that overall the relocation is in his or her best interests. You should expect to provide the court with information about the new home, neighborhood, school and the opportunities for your son to build friendships and enjoy leisure activities.

Court expectations

The court will review various factors in determining whether to approve a parental request for relocation with a child. Among these are:

  • The distance between the child’s current home and the new home
  • The availability of a quality education
  • The impact on the child’s development
  • The relationship between your child and the non-relocating parent
  • The financial impact of the move on the family as a whole

Relocation custody success

The court will expect you to notify the non-relocating parent of your moving plans as soon as possible. If there is no objection to the relocation, you should have a travel plan in mind so that your son can spend quality time with the other parent. In short, your request for relocation and child custody agreement modification should cover all the salient points. Your attorney can help you create the kind of petition the court will approve.