To say that circumstances change after a divorce is certainly not painting an accurate picture. More realistically – everything changes after a divorce. Splitting one household into two is never easy, and might lead to unforeseen challenges for both parties. When one individual’s circumstances change dramatically, though, it’s time to get involved in the legal process once again.
In the months or years following a divorce, it is not uncommon for parents to consider relocating. Whether this relocation is based on a job opportunity, an educational opportunity, or simply to be closer to a support network of family and friends, the impact to the children and the other parent must be considered.
A move across town or – depending on the geography – to the next city over might not be a large problem. Moving with your children out of state, however, can raise a number of legal issues.
North Carolina might not have a detailed relocation statute providing step-by-step legal guidance, but there are clear rules regarding the modification of a divorce order. While the idea of going before a judge might be intimidating, many law firms will work to resolve as much of the dispute as possible through negotiation and mediation. By following alternative methods of dispute resolution, you can minimize the amount of time and money you spend seeking the court’s approval to change elements of your custody agreement.
While many people might see the lack of clear legislation centered on relocation as an indication that relocating carries no significant penalties – that’s not always the case. It’s crucial that you take the time to have an experienced family law attorney review your situation and provide answers to your questions. Every situation is different and there is rarely ever a cookie-cutter resolution. In most cases, however, relying on the legal system is the best way to proceed. If, for no other reason than your relocation and any modifications to the original child support order are now legal and legally binding. Many people think they can simply proceed with a verbal agreement, but what happens if your relationship with your ex deteriorates? Wouldn’t it be better to have a legal document stating that both parties have agreed to these custody modifications?
Before making any relocation plans, discuss your legal options and your best course of action with a lawyer. Your move might impact your financial situation and your ex’s ability to follow the original custody order.