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Can Connecticut parents move with a child custody order in place?

Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 18, 2014 in Child Custody

Today's professional world is incredibly mobile. People no longer stay with the same employer for decades. At the same time, a person may be asked to pick up and move to a new city for work purposes. Although this may seem like an exciting opportunity for some, people with families may find this to be a more difficult proposition.

For parents with a child custody arrangement in place, it's not wise to move without discussing the issue with the other parent. This could put one parent in violation of a court order or facing abduction charges for taking a child outside the bounds of a custody arrangement.

If parents must relocate with their children, there are some steps to follow provided by Connecticut law.

It's worth noting that parents probably don't have to worry about violating a custody order if they're moving to a different part of town, though it may warrant a discussion between parents. On the other hand, moving a significant distance with a child will certainly change relationship dynamics. As such, parents have to demonstrate that moving is for a legitimate purpose and relocating the child will serve his or her best interests in order to have the custody arrangement modified.

Of course, parents may find it beneficial to work out the terms of relocation privately. If seeking a resolution this way is impossible, the court will have to handle. Regardless, in order to receive court approval, the following items will be reviewed in terms of parental and child relocation:

  • Reasons for wanting to or opposing relocation.
  • The state of relationships between parents and children.
  • The impact moving would have on the relationship between the child and the parent who isn't moving.
  • Potential benefits of moving the child.
  • The possibility of maintaining a visitation schedule with the non-relocating parent.

Dealing with the idea of moving a significant distance with a child may be a challenge. However, it's understandable why parents have to do it. As such, it's important to handle these situations with sensitivity to the needs of the whole family, rather than the parents' desires alone.

Source: Connecticut Statute, "Relocation of parent with minor child," C.G.S.A. § 46b-56d