Relocation and It’s Effect on Physical Custody in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Custody orders are not forever. The Court retains jurisdiction over the custody of your children until they turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever is later.
The Court, though, can only change custody when there has been a “material change in circumstances”. That means that a change must have occurred or will occur very soon that directly affects the best interest of the children. Relocation of one parent may be just such a material change in circumstances, depending on your circumstances. Your Maryland custody lawyer at Lustig & Gudis, LLC can help you determine whether the move may be considered a material change. If you and your custody attorney decide that there has been a change because of a parent’s move, or that a move is scheduled to occur soon, your custody lawyer will help you get, or react to the changes you need.
Our Maryland Family Lawyer will review all the facts and advise you on how to proceed
A parent’s move will be considered a material change in circumstances if the move makes the residential/access schedule you have in place impossible or impractical. For instance, you and your children’s other parent have 50/50 custody, and one of you needs to move to another state, or even far enough away in Maryland that the 50/50 custody will not work anymore. The impact on the children’s daily schedule will then be considered. Are the children in school? Do they have friends in the school or in the neighborhood of the non-moving parent? How are the children doing in school and overall? Some children adapt to change easily and some don’t. It’s important that your children’s personalities be brought into the decision.
A change that may not be considered a material change would be if the moving parent has a traditional access schedule (alternate weekends and a dinner with the children each week). If the parent is not moving far enough away that it would be impossible or impractical to continue the current schedule, there would be no need for a modification of custody/access.
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A parent can’t use a move to keep the other parent away from the children. If that is the parent’s intent, and the other relevant factors are considered, the Court may order that the children live with the non-moving parent, even if this was not the original schedule. The Court will not allow children to be used as pawns in a dispute between the parents.
Your Gaithersburg custody attorney can help you sort out the circumstances of a parent’s move (either yours or the other parent) and make the best decisions for your children and yourself.