CAN I LIVE ANYHWERE AFTER MY DIVORCE?
An issue which you may contemplate as you are in the process of divorce is can you move anywhere you want after the action is complete. If there are no children, the answer is easy. You can live wherever you wish. If you have children, the answer is not as clear cut. Both parents are to have meaningful time with the children. To have such meaningful time will require both parties to live relatively close to each other. The question becomes how close do you have to live? There lacks a concrete rule as to how far you can move away but Courts will generally deem twenty to thirty minutes apart reasonable using the marital residence as a starting point. This restriction, however, is placed on the residential parent. The non-residential parent can essentially move to wherever they want. Keep in mind that if you move to far away the residential parent is not required to make any special arrangements to help facilitate parenting time. Additionally, once the non-residential parent moves out of state or clearly out of the area, then, unless there is a provision in the agreement, the residential parent will probably not be bound to stay within a certain radius to the marital home. Once you start moving further than twenty or thirty minutes away from each other, the issue will become how does the distance effect the access to the children. If you have to live forty-five minutes away, maybe you offer to meet halfway to facilitate the exchange of the children. Or maybe you offer to drop off and pick up your child for all visitations. You can also suggest extra time during a specified school break. For example, you can offer an extra week of time during the summer. You should also keep in mind the effect greater distances will have on your children. If you are forty-five minutes away, that is forty-five minutes each way that your child will have to be in the car. That may not be in your child’s best interests.
Sometimes there are no choices but always keep your child’s best interests at the forefront of your mind.