What if the custodial parent wants to move out of state?

| Apr 1, 2021 | Child Custody |

In cases of divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both people to want to relocate at some point after the separation. This can potentially cause complications when the couple has children.

Divorced parents typically share custodial time with their children. When one parent wishes to move out of state that makes regular visitation much more difficult. In Hawaii, when the custodial parent wants to move out of state, the court will hold a hearing to determine the arrangement for the child.

Alternative visitation options

As weekend visits will be too difficult to maintain, the court will consider alternative visitations. Longer visits over the summer and other school breaks will allow the non-custodial parent to maintain a relationship with the child. Scheduled video calls are an additional means of regular communication when traveling is too difficult.

What the court considers

The court will consider the reason for the move when determining what is best for the child. The court will look more favorably on a move if the custodial parent has clear plans for where they are moving and why, such as a new job or to be closer to family. The court will also consider the history of the custody arrangement and whether there have been issues complying with the current visitation arrangement by either parent.

Being named the custodial parent does not grant anyone the right to move the children without question. In some cases where the custodial parent wants to move, based on the findings in court, the judge may decide that it is in the best interest of the child to stay where they are. In these cases, the court transfers primary custody to the non-custodial parent.