How Far Can A Parent Move With Joint Custody?

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How Far Can A Parent Move With Joint Custody - How Far Apart Can Parents Live And Still Have 50 50 Custody

How far can a parent move with joint custody?

Parents always ask us this when they are considering moving. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • is there a set distance on how far can a parent move with joint custody?
  • how to win a relocation custody case
  • what happens when the non-custodial parent moves away
  • if you have full custody can you move out of state

Let’s dig in.

Custody can be devastating. It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. Spouses end up having to pay agonizing amounts of financial support.

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How Far Can A Parent Move With Joint Custody

When it comes to how far can a parent move with joint custody, there are no limitations

But a parent with joint custody needs to get court approval to move

This is especially true when moving with joint custody affects parenting time for either parent. 

Let’s talk about how does joint custody work.

How Does Joint Custody Work

There are two types of joint custody. 

There is legal joint custody and physical joint custody. 

Legal joint custody means that both parents share the responsibility of making decisions for the child. 

These decisions pertain to healthcare, education, and legal rights for the child. 

Physical joint custody has to do with who the child lives with and the visitation schedule

Joint custody means that the parents are working together to raise the child

While the parents may no longer get along, they still need to co-parent well for the child

This is especially true when looking at how far can a parent move with joint custody. 

Moving away means that physical and legal joint custody may get modified

And that it’s going to be more difficult on the child. 

The parents should really consider how well they can co-parent when moving with joint custody. 

Related: How To Get Full Custody Of A Child Without Going To Court

How Far Apart Can Parents Live And Still Have 50/50 Custody

How far apart parents can live and still have 50/50 custody is up to the judge

Most family lawyers will recommend that you live within 20 miles of each other

This is because the further away you live, the least likely the judge will let you have 50/50 custody. 

Technically, you can live as far apart as you want and still have 50/50 custody

Again, it’s up to the judge. 

They may not think that you can reasonably get your child to school each day. 

If that’s the case, you won’t get 50/50 custody

And let’s say you’re the parent who has moved out of the school district. 

You’d be the one who only gets weekends

You can move out of your child’s school district without changing or losing custody. 

But if it affects your ability to get the child to their school or activities, you could lose custody

Related: How Can a Mother Lose Custody of Her Child

Non Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State

A non-custodial parent moving out of state does not need permission to move.

You’ll need to send the custodial parent a Letter of Intent stating that you’re moving.  

There are no distance limitations for how far a parent can move with joint custody.

So, a non-custodial parent moving out of state is allowed. 

You’ll need to go to court to modify your child custody and visitation schedule. 

If you don’t go to court, you won’t get new court orders. 

And the custodial parent is legally allowed to withhold visitation.

Even though they are allowed to, when they withhold visitation, you can take them to court

But then the judge will learn that you moved out of state without getting new custody orders

And that you have not been showing up for your court-ordered visitation

Most likely, they will not be on your side

Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement

How To Win A Relocation Custody Case

When figuring out how far can a parent move with joint custody, you’ll have a relocation court case

When a parent moves far away, it’s impossible for them to follow their custody orders

And they could be held in contempt for not following their visitation schedules

So, let’s talk about how to win a relocation custody case. 

This way, you can move and still maintain your joint custody

First, you need to hire a child custody attorney

Your attorney will file your Letter of Intent of Relocation

After this, the other parent needs to get served with the Letter of Intent. 

Once they have been served, they can respond in two ways:

  • objection to the relocation
  • ignore the Letter of Intent

When the other parent objects, a court hearing gets scheduled

And the parent moving with joint custody needs to defend their case for relocation

They need to prove that the relocation improves the child’s quality of life

Because a judge is always making decisions based on the best interest of the child.

They will either approve or deny how far a parent can move with joint custody. 

But what if the other parent ignores the Letter of Intent?

The relocating parent needs to file:

  • proof that the other parent received the Letter of Intent
  • an affidavit stating there was no objection
  • a petition to confirm relocation
  • a petition to modify child custody orders

In this case, the parent will most likely win a relocation custody case. 

Related: Signing Over Parental Rights

What Happens When The Non Custodial Parent Moves Away

There are two scenarios for what happens when a non-custodial parent moves away. 

These two scenarios are:

  • the custody order has domicile restrictions
  • the custody order does not have any

Domicile restrictions are restrictions on the location of your home residence. 

For example, there may be a domicile restriction that the custodial parent cannot move away

But, what happens when the non-custodial parent moves away?

Usually, domicile restrictions state that if the non-custodial parent moves away, then the custodial parent can move

When the non-custodial parent moves away, this lifts the restriction on the custodial parent

This means there is no restriction on how far can a parent move with joint custody. 

Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody

How Many Miles Can A Custodial Parent Move

How far can a parent move with joint custody based on a distance in miles? 

There are no laws stating how many miles away a custodial parent can move. 

How far a parent can move with joint custody depends on the judge

They want the custodial parent to prove that moving improves the quality of the child’s life. 

For instance, reasons the judge will approve the custodial parent’s move are:

  • a substantial increase in income
  • moving closer to family
  • removing them from a dangerous environment
  • increasing the stability of their life

So, how far can a parent move with joint custody depends on these types of factors.

Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child

Moving Out Of State With Child

There are laws non-custodial parents need to follow when moving out of state with a child. 

The non-custodial parent has to notify the custodial parent that they are moving. 

A custodial parent has to be given a Notice of Proposed Relocation 60 days before moving out of state. 

If I Have Full Custody Can I Move Out Of State

If you have full custody, you can move out of state

But you have to get court approval to do so. 

And the judge will have to change the custody orders

A parent with full custody can move out of state by:

  • coming to an agreement with the non-custodial parent
  • petitioning the courts to allow you to move out of state. 

When you have full custody and move out of state, the non-custodial parent is giving up time with the child. 

Most non-custodial parents will not agree to this

But, if your co-parent does agree to this, you can create a new child custody agreement

And file this agreement with a Petition To Modify Custody

You can find these papers at your local Superior Court

Or a child custody lawyer can file this for you. 

But what if the non-custodial parent does not agree to you moving out of state?

Then you’ll have to petition the courts to allow you to relocate. 

Just note that the judge most likely will not approve a custodial parent moving out of state. 

This is because they want both parents involved in the child’s life. 

There would have to be good reasons to change custody, like:

  • child abuse
  • neglect
  • danger
  • drug abuse
  • alcohol abuse

In scenarios like this, it’s in the child’s best interest to be in a new environment

And this helps the judge decide how far a parent can move with joint custody. 

Related: Custody Battle For Fathers

Non Custodial Parent Moves Out Of State Without Notice

What happens when a non-custodial parent moves out of state without notice?

Let’s assume that there are custody orders and a visitation schedule in place. 

When the non-custodial parent moves out of state without notice, they are violating these orders

Because they are not able to continue to comply with the visitation schedule. 

And since these are custody orders, the non-custodial parent can get held in contempt

Contempt, here, just means that they are violating those custody orders

The custodial parent has the ability to file a Motion of Contempt and Modification of Custody

Since you moved without notice, the judge is likely to side with the custodial parent. 

And modify the custody orders more in their favor. 

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

Can The Non Custodial Parent Move Out Of State

Yes, a non-custodial parent can move out of state

But this will change the visitation schedule. 

Most non-custodial parents get roughly equal time with their children. 

But a non-custodial parent moving out of state makes this more difficult

The judge will change the custody orders to reflect the availability of the non-custodial parent.

This will reduce the visitation time that the non-custodial parent gets. 

Usually, a non-custodial parent living out of state only gets:

  • holidays
  • summers
  • long weekends

And, depending on how far a parent moves with joint custody, it could be even less. 

Related: How a Mother Can Lose a Custody Battle

Navigating Joint Custody Relocation

If you want the best custody attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

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This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.

We also make sure that your divorce judgment is equitable and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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