Child Relocation And Your Rights And Obligations

In today’s society, people are occasionally required to relocate for various reasons: employment, education, remarriage, proximity to specialized medical care or military service.

If the person moving is a divorced or single parent, the relocation can become an issue requiring approval by the family court in West Virginia. This is not easy. At McPhail Law, our lawyers can help you understand your rights and obligations, whether you wish to relocate and modify your parenting plan or you are contesting the move.

Whether seeking or contesting a relocation, fast action is usually necessary. Call our office in Wheeling today at 304-907-0506 to schedule a consultation.

Helping You Prepare For A Substantial Change In A Child’s Life

West Virginia family courts consider relocation as a substantial change to allow the modification of a parenting plan when it will significantly impair either parent’s parenting time.

If you intend to move, you must give the child’s other parent a minimum of 60 days advance notice or the most notice practicable under the circumstances. We can help you understand your options if you wish to serve notice or you have received notice.

When modifying a plan, courts will try maintain the same proportion of parenting time. If it is impractical to maintain the same proportion of custodial responsibility, however, the court shall modify the parenting plan according to the following principles:

  • A parent who has been exercising a significant majority of the custodial responsibility shall be permitted to relocate with the child so long as that parent shows that the relocation is in good faith for a legitimate purpose and to a reasonable location.
  • If either parent has been exercising extended (30% or more) parenting time with the child, the court shall consider if the relocation of the parent is in good faith for a legitimate purpose and to a reasonable location and is in the best interest of the child.

Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation

This is a sensitive issue that can cause heated disputes. If you want to learn more about your rights and options, please contact our Wheeling office for an initial consultation by calling 304-907-0506.