How Is a Relocation Change With Children Handled?

When a Washington State couple shares a child and is no longer together, the best case scenario is if both parents try to have a relationship with children and agree on the visitation and living arrangements. That, however, is not always possible and there are times in which a custodial parent will choose to move to a different location. Relocation can be confusing and if the other parent has an issue with the choice to relocate and pursue an agreement modification when it comes to residency, there are legal steps to take to settle the matter.

If one parent objects to the relocation or change to the residence, the objection must be filed with the court. The objection will then be served to the custodial parent and any other individual who has a legal right to time with the child. This objection is required to be filed and served within 30 days of the disclosure that there will be a relocation or residential change. Included in this is a three-day waiting period. The form of the objection must be in a petition to modify the plan for parenting with the relocation or an adequate proceeding to present the grounds for relief.

There are special circumstances when it comes to relocation and these include the parent who is relocating feeling as if he or she is in danger. Short of that, the parent who is planning the relocation cannot do so during the objection period. In the event that the party lodging the objection notes a court hearing in fewer than 15 days after the objection is filed, then the parent planning to relocate cannot do so until there is a hearing.

Few things spark an emotional upheaval and a continuous disagreement among parents as how child custody will be handled. An agreement modification can lead to a long dispute and contentious feelings among the parties. If that modification involves a relocation that might make it difficult for the parent who doesn’t have custody to have trouble maintaining a relationship with children, it’s natural for there to be hard feelings. For both sides, responding without the legal basis to do so can only make matters worse. This is why it’s important to have sound legal advice before moving forward with a filing regarding relocation and changes of residence.

Source:, “Objection to relocation or proposed revised residential schedule,” accessed on Feb. 3, 2015