Parents often experience intense fears about divorce and what it means for their relationship with their children. The first concern people often cite is concern that their spouse will get sole custody and kick them out of the lives of the children.
A slightly less common but equally significant secondary concern is whether their ex might take the kids back to the continental U.S. or even another country. Will you have to worry about your ex relocating with the kids immediately after you divorce in Hawaii?
State custody laws address relocation concerns after divorce
Families often go through major changes after a divorce, and it isn’t unusual for both parents to move to a new home. Unfortunately, some people choose to move farther away than others. Lawmakers have specific rules in place for potential relocations.
If the person requesting a move has primary custody or sole custody of the children, the effect of the move on the relationship with the non-custodial parent will be a consideration. The best interests of the children should be the focus, and having both parents around is usually important to children.
Of course, if both parents agree, the courts will generally approve the move. However, if you don’t want your ex to leave and take the kids, you can contest their planned relocation. You’ll have the chance to attend a court hearing and show that the relocation won’t benefit the children or isn’t necessary.
If the court agrees with you, they may either tell your ex that they do not have permission to move or they could change the custody order to give you sole custody once your spouse moves. If you intend to fight back against the relocation request, early planning can help you get the documentation you need to support your position in this complex child custody matter.