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Relocating with Your Child After Divorce

Most people think the divorce is the hardest part of the end of a marriage. While this may be true for some, for parents, the hardest part is continuing to speak with your ex to maintain custody visits and visitation. The court will order parents to keep a specific schedule of visitation and custody until both parents decide to make a change or one parent wants to make a change regardless of whether or not the other parent agrees.

For example, after a year or two, the custodial parent might find another job, remarry, or decide to relocate for schooling. If this happens, he or she will have to talk to his or her ex to get permission to take their child in the relocation if they want to move more than 150 miles away from the child’s existing, court-ordered residence. If the other parent agrees, they can both file the change with the court after making a new plan for visitation. However, if the other parent doesn’t agree, the parent who wishes to move must submit the issue to the Iowa family courts.

The parent who wishes to relocate with the child must show the court there has been a substantial change of circumstances, meaning there must have been a significant, fundamental change in someone’s life since the last custody order was issued.

If the court finds the change is substantial enough to consider, a judge will change the existing custody order in such a way that the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent is affected as little as possible. To ensure the non-relocating parent gets as much time as he or she used to, the judge may order that the non-moving parent gets extended visitation during summer vacations and school breaks, has scheduled telephone contact with the child, and/ or shares personal and financial responsibility for transporting the child back and forth for visitation with the parent who hasn’t moved.

If you’re a parent who wishes to relocate with your child, make sure to contact one of our skilled Des Moines family law attorneys. We have more than a decade of legal experience to offer your case, and we have been helping families throughout the greater Des Moines area solve their family law problems. Let us see what we can do for you and your family.

Contact us at (515) 200-7571 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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