If your co-parent wants to move with the children to a different state under a shared custody order, they must seek the court’s approval. A judge will assess their reasons for relocation and determine whether they are in good faith and if they are in the best interest of the children.
For example, if they are moving so that the child can access better medical or educational resources, the court may grant its permission for relocation. However, the judge may disapprove of the move if it is in bad faith or due to personal reasons not based on the children’s wellbeing.
Moving across different states does not affect custody orders
To avoid situations where a parent moves to another state and files new custody proceedings in the hope of achieving a different outcome, almost all 51 states have adopted a uniform law. The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) restricts the state with jurisdiction to one, thereby avoiding competing orders issued by different judges across several state lines.
Therefore, custody orders issued in your home state are still enforceable across another state and your co-parent cannot go to seek sole custody if a different court ruled that you should share parenting time.
Protecting your parental rights under shared custody
Establishing your place as a parent in your children’s lives is the most important thing, especially during their formative years. If you feel like your co-parent is trying to move away to make co-parenting harder or weaken your bond with your children, be prepared to act and safeguard your rights.