Life rarely stands still, so it is unsurprising that some people want to move after a divorce. Whether you are planning your move one year after obtaining your divorce decree or 10 years later, you could run into problems, especially if you want to relocate with your children.
At Lawrence Law Office, we have been helping divorced men and women understand their responsibilities under the law for over 20 years. Please contact us if you are thinking of relocating after a high asset divorce.
Can You Relocate with Your Children?
If you have minor children, you shouldn’t just rent a U-Haul and hightail it to another state. Instead, you probably need to give the non-custodial parent notice of your intent to move. If the other parent is okay, then everything is usually fine. However, if the other parent objects, a judge will need to look at several factors before granting you permission to leave with your children:
- Your reason for relocating. Are you leaving for a new job? A new relationship? Or are you just trying to get away from the other parent? If your reason for leaving would benefit the children—say, you get a higher paying job—then you have a stronger case for moving.
- Your destination. The distance matters. You could move closer to the other parent or farther away. If you want to move to California, this fact could work against you.
- The impact on the parenting plan. Will the parent be able to maintain visitation? Or will he or she see the children much less? The less disruptive the move is to the parenting plan, then the more likely you will get permission to move.
- The child’s desires. If they are old enough, a judge will consider this factor as well.
You need an attorney who understands the state’s child custody laws and can help present proper notice to the other parent. You want to comply with the letter of the law and also try to head off any objections.
If the other parent tries to fight the move, then you must gather sufficient evidence that the move is in the child’s best interests. Unfortunately, what is in your best interests as a parent might not be the child’s. By working closely with an attorney, you increase the chances a judge will approve the move. Or, if you want to block your ex-spouse’s move to a different location, you might be able to get custody of the children yourself.
What if You Are Not the Custodial Parent?
If you don’t have custody, then there are usually fewer hurdles to relocation. You should carefully consider how the move will affect your relationship with your children. You might need to request a change to the parenting plan.
For example, if you intend to move across the country to California, you might want a parenting plan that gives you a month or more during school vacation with your children. You and your ex can agree to this change and request modification, or you will have a contested hearing in front of the judge, who will have the final word on whether a change to the parenting plan is necessary.
How Do You Handle a Company Business?
Both you and your ex might be co-owners of a business. If one of you wants to leave, then problems can arise unless you intend to work for the business remotely. Do you give up your share of the business? Or do you take the business with you?
When you get divorced, you should have drafted a buy-sell agreement to prepare for situations like this. A buy-sell agreement would lay out what happens in the event one business partner wants to separate from the business.
Unfortunately, many couples don’t plan properly for business issues that can arise after a high asset divorce, so they have no agreement in place. Often, both spouses want to continue with the business but in different locations. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and likelihood of success in a business owner divorce.
Helping Families with Relocation Issues after a High Asset Divorce
If you are planning on moving states after a divorce, or if your ex intends to move, then you should consider the legal ramifications. At Lawrence Law Office, we have worked in this area of law for several decades and understand the best way to present a case to the court.
To better understand your options and what is likely to happen, please reach out to us today. You can schedule an initial consultation with a high asset divorce lawyer by calling or filling out our online form.