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Can a divorced parent leave New Hampshire with the kids?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Child Custody |

After a divorce, parents in New Hampshire who share custody of their children will have to abide by their parenting plan. There will be limitations on what they can do with the children and even when they get to spend time with them. There is an expectation that both parents will abide by the written plan and will support the relationship that the other has with the children.

However, family circumstances tend to change quite rapidly following a divorce. One parent might start a new romantic relationship or start looking into new career opportunities. Eventually, there may be a reason to move out of New Hampshire. Can one parent move with the children when there is a custody order in place that grants both parents time with the children?

New Hampshire has specific rules about relocations

One parent moving would likely have a direct impact on the relationship that the other has with the children if there is going to be a larger distance between households. New Hampshire law and therefore the terms of the average parenting plan require that parents provide advance notice to one another and the courts in most relocation scenarios.

If one parent will move to a new property that will be closer to the other parent or if the relocation does not take them out of the current school district, then they won’t need advance permission to move house. However, any move that will increase the distance between households or change the school district where the children would attend will require advanced notice.

In some cases, the other parent will agree that the move is reasonable and necessary. The parents can then proceed with an uncontested modification that updates their parenting plan to reflect the new living arrangements. If the parent not moving disagrees with the suggestion, then the family may end up in court.

How judges handle relocation hearings

A New Hampshire family court judge has to think about what is best for the children in any custody matter. Frequently, keeping the children close to both parents is a priority. However, when they will have access to more family support, better schools or other improved circumstances after a move, a judge may agree with the parent claiming that the move would benefit the children.

Learning more about the unique factors that influence relocation decisions in New Hampshire family court cases can benefit those who are concerned about their child custody arrangements.