It used to be, families commonly remained in the same geographic area for generations. Over the recent years, though, people have grown to be steadily more mobile. Whether due to job transfer, military orders, or just a change of pace, parents with physical custody of their children frequently have to move either to a different part of their state or to some new state altogether. A lot of times this leaves the parent with visitation rights far behind.

Before moving with children subject to a child custody and visitation order, the procedures set forth in child custody laws have to be followed. Failure to adhere to the correct steps and to acquire permission to move with the children, might result in the moving parent being in the unwanted predicament of having to opt between making the move or surrendering custody of the kids.

To start out, notice needs to be made to the other parent and to the family court of the proposed move. Normally, this notification needs to be performed in writing; and the moving party's intent has to be made known well ahead of the move. Depending upon the relationship between the mother and father, the moving parent may be in a position to negotiate and secure the consent of the other parent. This, of course, will save a lot of headaches and frustrations and will avoid having to deal with the unknown. If the other parent will not agree to the move, a motion will need to be filed in family court to alter the child custody and visitation order to permit the relocation. This may take a few weeks, even months to resolve.

Child custody and visitation issues are decided by what's in the best interest of the children. The Court will base its ruling on moving with children utilizing this same standard. This might or might not comport with what is in the interest of the individual parents. Judges begin from the premise that children's best interests are served when they have a nurturing and wholesome connection with each parent. The family court judge might find that a move will place too much of a strain on that bond. This matter by itself may result in a denial of the request to move with the children.

Other things the court will take into consideration include distance of the proposed relocation and how that will affect visitation by the other parent. The judge may also think of how the move will upset the children with regards to relationships with other family members and friends; how well the custodial parent has acted in promoting a relationship with the other parent; health factors (such as asthma) and schooling possibilities of the children; and the reasons for the move. Moreover, the court may also think of the desires of the children if they are of suitable age to express an opinion.

In any instance where you're going to be planning to relocate with your kids, or if you are the non-custodial mother or father and have been told of a proposed relocation, it is advisable to make an appointment to talk about the matter with a family law attorney. An attorney for relocation and child custody issues is going to be able to help you to negotiate a modification, or to develop your best case for you and the best interest of your children.

Attorney James Garrett is the founding member of Garrett Law Group, PLC in Virginia Beach, VA. His firm focuses on criminal and traffic defense law, divorce and child custody, and personal injury law.

If you are in need of a Virginia Beach lawyer for relocation, or you just have have questions about child custody and relocation laws in Virginia, please contact his office at (757) 422-4646.

Author's Bio: 

James Garret is the founding member of Garrett Law Group, PLC in Hampton Roads, VA. His firm staffs attorneys for criminal defense, lawyers for traffic tickets, family law attorneys, and accident injury lawyers.

Virginia Beach Divorce Attorney