What Courts Consider When a Parent Wants to Relocate

Mother comforting her young daughter

Relocation is an incredibly high-stakes issue for parents who split custody of a child. The further away a custodial parent wants to move, the more difficult and expensive it becomes for face-to-face visitation to occur with the non-custodial parent. In short, a noncustodial parent will see the child less frequently and the course of their parent-child relationship will be forever altered.

Parental Consent or Court Permission Required

Because of the serious implications of relocation on the parent-child relationship, the relocation of a child requires the written consent of the noncustodial parent (or the other parent with joint custody). In the absence of this consent, a parent seeking the move must petition the court and obtain permission to relocate with the child.

Moving the child without approval from the court can constitute parental kidnapping—which can have grave consequences for the offending parent. Not only can the parent face a Class D felony charge for improperly relocating a child, but the court can also order the parent who took the child to produce the child to the court and can modify the existing child custody agreement. These new orders do not generally work out in favor of the parent who relocated the child without permission or consent.

What Do Courts Consider?

Under Nevada’s child custody laws,¬†the parent seeking relocation has the burden to first show the court that:

  1. There is a “sensible, good-faith reason for the move, and the move is not intended to deprive the non-relocating parent of his or her parenting time”;
  2. The move serves the child’s best interest; and
  3. The child and the relocating parent will “benefit from an actual advantage as a result of the relocation.”

If a relocating parent meets this initial burden, then the court must weigh how the relocation would impact the child, the relocating parent, and the non-relocating parent, including:

  1. Improvements to the child’s and relocating parent’s quality of life;
  2. The motives of relocating parent and whether the intention is to interfere with the other parent’s visitation rights.
  3. Whether the relocating parent with complying with new visitation terms.
  4. The motives of the non-relocating parent are contesting the move.
  5. Whether there is a “realistic opportunity” for a visitation schedule with the non-relocating parent that will preserve and foster the parent-child relationship.
  6. Any other factor necessary in the court’s decision.

Contact the Family Law Attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

The prospect of child relocation is a big deal. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. take this issue very seriously and will fight for your legal rights. We understand what evidence that courts focus on and will use our experience to advocate for your interests. If you want a proven fighter on your side, let us help you. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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