Moving out of state with kids after a divorce

A couple is sitting on a couch and removing their wedding bands

Any type of interstate move can be pretty daunting to plan. This is especially true following a divorce. Many divorced individuals contemplate relocating as a means to move on and start a new life somewhere else. On the other hand, moving out of state might be particularly problematic if you decide to move with young children. But do not worry. There are ways to make moving out of state with kids after a divorce easier for you and your kids.

Check your legal standing
Relocations are one of the most common issues that arise when a custody order is issued. More often than not, the family court in your state will have to be involved. In all cases, any legal action will be costly, so make sure to save money by following some financial advice. Of course, this can be avoided with mediation. However, this has often proved to be rather unsuccessful.

A black and gold gavel on a black sound block

What will happen depending on the type of custody
Depending on the type of custody you have over your children, the case will vary. There are two different types of custody: “sole” and “joint”.

In the case of sole custody, you have the ultimate say over where the children reside, go to school, and get health care, among other things. Depending on the other parent’s visitation rights, you can get a “move-away order,” which allows you to move far enough away from the noncustodial parent. The most common method is to file a motion with the court. This will give the other parent opportunity to oppose. If they disagree, you may find yourself in family court, presenting your case as to why it is in the child’s best interest to move.

In the case of joint custody, both parents have control over their children. Decisions that have a significant impact on the children must be made in unison. If any parent is subjected to unwanted change, it can be challenging to find common ground. In this case, the family court will have to get involved. The final decision will almost always be based on what’s best for your kids.

Whether your custody arrangement is “joint” or “sole”, expect the court to start with the visitation schedule and then figure out the children’s best interests from there. Typically, they choose a solution that will cause the least amount of disruption to the children’s lives. This is why you must prepare to defend your decision on moving out of state with kids after a divorce.

A young girl smiling widely in a kitchen

How to prepare for the upcoming relocation hearing
If you and your previous partner cannot find common ground regarding the move, you will have a hearing, and the judge will determine if you are allowed to move with your kids. The family court’s primary concern is whether the decision is in the best interests of your children. Getting a free case review might also help with the upcoming hearing, although you can opt to prepare by yourself. When preparing by yourself, you should concentrate on gathering facts and information that will persuade the judge.

The main reasons that will improve your kids’ lives are:

  • A better financial situation – If you decide to move to a different state for a new employment opportunity that might improve your income, be sure to talk about it in length. However, also prepare evidence of the new income and perks you will get with the new position and how this will improve your family’s life.
  • A better support system – If the reason for your relocation is to have your extended family closer to you, mention that. Moving closer to family can be very beneficial for your kids. They will assist you in many different ways. But make sure to mention how the added support will help your children.
  • A better life – Give evidence of how and why your children’s lives will improve in the new state. Mention the educational opportunities or how the new place will mean a fresh start for your kids. If you are moving to remarry, mention how this will also be a way to benefit your kids’ lives.

Prepare for the move
Now that you have the legal right to move out of state with your kids, it is time to prepare for the big relocation. It can be pretty daunting to think about different things you might have to prepare for the move. Your family or friends might have tips on which moving company to choose and how to arrange the move. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Contact movers, separate your belongings, pack up all necessary things and arrange a one-way trip to the state of your choosing. And know – after the move is done, you will need to arm yourself with patience. It can be challenging to settle in after the big interstate move. This is especially the case when it comes to your kids. They will require a lot of patience and care to feel comfortable in your new place. But it is very much possible.

A mother and her daughter packing

After the move
If you have opted for moving insurance during your interstate move, you will have no worries regarding your precious items. Now is the time to unpack those items and make the new place feel like home. Moving out of state with kids after a divorce was challenging for you and your kids as well. Give the little ones a lot of attention, listen to their thoughts and feelings, and give them time. Try and make life feel like it is back in place and normal again. Go back to all the previous rituals you used to have. Introduce them to the new area. And know it will take time for all of you to settle in like a family.