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Can I relocate my children after a divorce?

People may move after a divorce for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to move back closer to home or move somewhere new to pursue a career. Whatever your reason, if you are planning to move out of state with your children after a divorce, you may run into opposition from your ex. Your ex may have visitation rights, or joint custody of the children, and moving far away may make it impossible for the two of you to follow these provisions. Thus, you may have to obtain permission from the courts before moving with your children.


Can my ex prevent me from moving?

In some cases, your ex may be able to prevent you from relocating with your children. In Oregon, parents are not allowed to relocate more than 60 miles away without providing proper notice to the other parent and the court. In most cases, your divorce decree will have this restriction; moving further than 60 miles away will require a judge to waive this stipulation.

In an ideal situation, you would renegotiate a parenting schedule with your ex-spouse that would accommodate your relocation. If your ex decides to contest your relocation, you may have to revisit court over the issue.

Presenting a case for moving

The court will primarily make a decision on the matter based on the best interests of the children. So the best case that you can make for relocation is that the decision will benefit the children. Courts know that changes in family life and living situations can sometimes cause the most stress for children of divorce. If you are going to get a court to approve your request to relocate, you will need to demonstrate how the move will improve the children’s life. Improvements to their lives may include:

  • Improved finances due to a new job
  • Increased home stability if you are moving closer to relatives
  • Better education system in the new area
  • Evidence that a fresh start would benefit the children’s well-being

Divorce can present challenges to blended family life even after it has been finalized. Pursuing positive changes for you and your children post-divorce is a healthy decision, and one that you should be prepared to advocate.

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Elizabeth Christy Law Firm PLLC

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