It is not unusual these days for people to move from one state to another, or even to move across the country. For example, a person could be offered a better job in another state, or a person who has moved away from the state he or she grew up in, may later decide that he or she wants to move back to his or her home state to be closer to family. However, what happens in child custody situations where a custodial parent wants to move to another state with the child?
Under Minnesota statutes, a child’s custodial parent cannot move with the child to another state unless the noncustodial parent consents to the move, or there a court order allowing the move. Moreover, if the reason the custodial parent wants to move is simply to interfere with the noncustodial parent’s parenting time, such a move will not be allowed.
The standard the court will use, when considering a custodial parent’s request to move out of state with the child, is the “best interests” standard. When it comes to determining the best interests of the child, the court will consider a number of factors.
For example, the court will consider the nature, quality and extent of involvement the child has with the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent, as well as the duration of the child’s relationship with both parents and the child’s relationship with brothers, sisters and other significant individuals in the child’s life. The feasibility of maintaining the relationship between the noncustodial parent, and the child logistically and financially may also be considered.
Other considerations include how old the child is, what the child’s needs are and what impact the relocation would have on the child’s education and development. If the child is of an age and maturity to express a preference, this may also be considered.
In addition, the financial, emotional and educational benefits of the move for both the custodial parent and the child are another factor. The reason behind the move may also be considered, as may the opposition to the move. Finally, the effect the move will have on the child’s safety and welfare may also be considered.
This list is not all exhaustive. Therefore, custodial parents looking to move out of Minnesota may benefit from seeking the help they need to determine if such a move is feasible.