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Maryland Family Lawyers Help Parents Move Out Of State

JC Law Attorney Team

Moving for a new job or just a new beginning can be the perfect thing for a new divorcee – if you’ve got the court’s sign off to take your child with you. Make sure you get that fresh start you deserve by relocating with your child and letting JC Law handle the legal hurdles for you.

Why Do I Have To Worry About Legal Problems If I Move Out Of State With My Child?

Before you and your child move post-divorce – whether for a new job or a fresh start – you should always consult with a family lawyer with experience in custody and visitation agreements.Without advanced planning, you could accidentally violate the terms of your child custody or visitation order, causing serious legal problems.

Remember that your parenting plan is incorporated into the official divorce decree, making it a court-ordered list of rules and schedules that you and your ex agreed to abide by after your divorce.

When one parent relocates – either out-of-state or to another city – the move might complicate the execution of this schedule.

Therefore, you should carefully review your child custody order. Your order might require that you notify your ex and the relevant Maryland court of your move up to 90 days in advance.

While the court might waive this notice requirement if you are fleeing abuse or have “good cause” – which your family lawyer can help you demonstrate – you typically must comply with your order’s notice requirements.

How Can I Adjust Joint Custody If One Parent Moves Out Of State?

A Maryland court-approved custody agreement is legally binding. You should never relocate with your child unless your move complies with your existing custody order. 

If you violate the terms of your custody order – such as moving without your ex’s permission – you might consequently face significant civil and criminal penalties, including jail time. Instead, you should ask the court to modify your custody arrangement.

If you and your ex can agree on a new custody and visitation schedule, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and litigation. When parents agree to a custody modification, your Maryland family lawyer will draft a new agreement and submit it to the court for approval.

Once the court signs your new consent order, it becomes legally binding – just as the old order was.

However, if you cannot negotiate an alternative custody agreement with your ex, then a Maryland judge will reconsider the custody arrangement and award new custody based on the child’s best interests. They weigh several factors, including:

  • The child’s age and gender
  • How a relocation would impact the child’s physical, emotional, and academic well-being
  • The child’s connection to his or her existing community, school, and other institutions
  • The geographic distance between the parents’ homes
  • The strength of each parent-child relationship
  • How a move would impact the child’s other close familial relationships
  • Each parent’s work-life balance and ability to care for the child
  • The parents’ and the child’s wishes (if age appropriate)

Typically, courts favor child custody agreements that encourage stability and maintain healthy relationships with each parent and their extended families.

We at JC Law understand that it can be challenging finding new housing, wrapping up loose ends, and planning your move. Adding a child custody issue to the mix might feel overwhelming. Let us help you safely navigate the family law system during your transition.

What Happens With Child Support If The Non-Custodial Parent Moves Out Of State?

A parent’s duty to support their child does not end after a relocation.

Out-of-state child support enforcement agencies will help the Maryland Child Support Administration (CSA) collect payments.

Regardless of whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, make sure you notify the CSA of your move. This will help them ensure prompt and ongoing support payments.

And, if your ex relocates in an attempt to avoid court-ordered child support, then contact your Maryland family lawyer or the CSA immediately. They can make sure your ex keeps their legal obligations to you and your child.

How Does Military Relocation Impact Custody, Visitation, And Child Support Agreements?

Unfortunately, members of the armed services frequently relocate, making family life tricky – especially after a divorce.

If you or your ex are service members, then federal laws – including the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) – might impact your custody case, superseding local state laws.

Due to the complicated nature of child custody cases involving a military relocation, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced Maryland family lawyer with a track record of successful military family cases.