After a divorce, your life continues to move forward, and your circumstances may change. For one reason or another, be it a job change, going back to school for a new career, or a new marriage, you may want to relocate. If you have parental rights granting you custody of your children, relocating may not be quite as simple. If you are considering a move, it is crucial that you discuss your plans with an experienced Maine family law attorney. Your attorney can inform you of your rights and responsibilities for the relocation and ensure that you take all the legally necessary steps in relocating.
Family courts in Maine, as expressed by public policy, desire frequent and continued contact for children with both of their parents after a divorce, separation, or otherwise end to their relationship. A parent is free to move alone, but if they wish to move with a child, the court needs to become involved.
Under family laws in Maine, a parent who is relocating needs to provide the other parent with a minimum of 30 days’ notice of intent of their potential move. If the non-relocating parent objects to the relocation, the relocating parent is required to go to court to ask the judge for a change in custody.
If the relocating parent is afraid that the other parent will be angered by this notice and could potentially cause harm to them or their children, they can give the notice to the court. The court will then give the notice to the non-relocating parent and, at the same time, take steps to ensure the other parent and child are safe. Do not, under any circumstance, move without providing this notice or consulting with a lawyer. Doing so can lead to severe consequences such as the court requiring you to return the child and transferring custody to the other parent.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer as to whether the court will approve your move with your children. In making its decision, the court will take several factors into account. They will consider:
They are not allowed to consider the gender of the parents or the children when making this decision or other decisions affecting custody.
As with many other post-divorce issues, you should always consult with a knowledgeable lawyer before taking steps towards relocating with your child after a divorce. It is more important than ever that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities at this time. Attorneys from The Maine Divorce Group can help you with the proper legal steps you need to take in order to relocate with your child. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our well-versed attorneys.
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The attorneys at The Maine Divorce Group understand how emotional and complex the divorce process can be and we are here to help.
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