When do parents need approval to move if they share custody?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Child Custody

Moves are part of life. New jobs, changing family circumstances and shifts in the real estate market may all force people to relocate their primary residences. Parents sharing custody in Ohio may have slightly less freedom to relocate as they wish than other adults.

Custody orders in Ohio typically include information about the residences of both parents, and any changes in those arrangements may require that the family go back to his court. When one parent wants to move to secure more affordable housing, accept a better job or pursue a new relationship, that decision can affect the rights of the other parent. Therefore, Ohio state statutes impose limitations on relocations when parents are subject to a custody order.

When do parents planning to move require approval from their co-parent or the courts beforehand?

When the move is far enough to make a difference

A relocation from one neighborhood to another doesn’t necessarily have to change any custody arrangements for the family. So long as there isn’t a significant change in the distance the other parent must travel to have time with their children, a relocation may not have any major implications for shared custody arrangements.

However, longer-distance moves can create scheduling complications and may even place a financial burden on one parent by generating more Transportation costs. Under current Ohio family law statutes, parents require permission for relocations that take them out of the state or that involve a move of at least 50 miles from their current residence.

Sometimes, the other parent readily agrees that the move could be beneficial and might agree to negotiate specific terms to make shared custody continue working for the family. Other times, a co-parent may refuse to cooperate, and the issue may need to go back to family court.

An Ohio judge hearing a contested relocation case typically focuses on the best interests of the children. Factors ranging from access to amenities to the impact the move may have on relationships may influence what a judge decides is best for the family.

Relocation requests may result in a significant modification of an existing custody order. As such, understanding Ohio’s rules for custody modifications and move-away scenarios may benefit those concerned about doing what is best for their children.