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Bad faith, good faith and child relocation

You want to move with your child after a divorce. You know that it's not as simple as packing up and going. You and your ex have to talk about this, since you both have custody, and you may need to get it approved by the court before you can move.

Two things the court considers are "good faith" and "bad faith" reasons for the relocation.

Bad faith

This is a negative reason to want to move, and it will typically get denied. For instance, perhaps you are angry that your ex asked for the divorce, and you want to move to get revenge, keeping him or her from seeing the child. Or, perhaps your ex moved on quickly and started a new relationship, and you want to move in retaliation. While your feelings may be natural, the court is not going to let you move just to get back at someone you used to be romantically involved with.

Good faith

This is a positive reason to want to move, in a way that would help the child. For instance, maybe you want to move closer to the child's grandparents so that they can give you the day-to-day help that your ex cannot. Or, perhaps you want to move because you were offered a new job in a city with a far better cost of living, so the child's quality of life will also improve.

This process can grow complicated, especially when you and the court do not agree on what constitutes a good reason to move. Make sure you know all of your legal options.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws," accessed May 17, 2018

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