Move away cases are difficult both for the parties involved and for the judges who have to decide them. How do you decide between having two parents close by and the dictates of things like moving jobs, family changes, remarriage, and changing economic conditions? It’s a difficult subject, and the law has changed in major ways in the past and will probably change again. You should consult with about the facts of your case and the state of the law. With that said, however, here are some basic principles to keep in mind:

*If your ex has primary physical custody (actual custodial time) and wants to move away for a valid purpose (not merely to limit your time with your child) such as a job change, a remarriage, or for legitimate family reasons, they will most likely be allowed to move.

*If you have split custody resembling a 50-50 time share, you are much more likely to be able to prevent the move.

*Factors the judge will consider when making a decision:

-The amount of time you spend with your child. -Your child’s involvement in school and sports. -Where the extended family on each side lives.

-The ability of the parents to keep up reasonable contact with the child if the child moves.

-Whether the parents can afford the transportation costs of visitations at a distance.

-Whether the move is truly necessary or simply voluntary.

-Whether or not there is an improper purpose for the move.

-The stability of the parent who is moving.

-Whether or not the parent who wants to move has a clear plan for employment, housing, and schooling.

*If you are receiving more parenting time than your order gives you, it is VERY important to keep a calendar of all the time you spend with your child in order to show to the judge at a move-away hearing and so that you can accurately your time share.