Can I Relocate After Divorce?
When actress Halle Berry recently sought the right to relocate with her daughter Nahla to France and live with her new boyfriend (and father of her new baby), the court denied her request. Relocation cases are often the most hotly disputed custody matters brought before a court, and relocation cases in Connecticut are no exception.
In Connecticut, if a custodial parent wants to relocate out of the area, that parent has to prove that:
- The relocation is for a legitimate purpose.
- The place they are moving to is reasonable for this purpose.
- The relocation is in the best interests of the child.
The best interest of the child is the gold standard of custody in Connecticut, and Connecticut statutes include a long list of things a court must consider when determining best interest, including:
- The child’s needs
- The parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs
- The child’s preferences
- The child’s relationships with the parents
- Manipulation by the parents
- The mental and physical health of child and parents
- The stability of the homes
- Domestic violence and its impact on the child
- The child’s cultural background
Any parent seeking to relocate should be prepared to provide the court with a plan for how the child will continue to have a relationship with the other parent. It’s essential that the relocating parent make it clear that the relationship will continue to be respected and supported. Travel plans as well as digital/electronic and phone communication are extremely important when showing that a relationship will be maintained.
Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin represents parents in relocation cases. Call us today to discuss your case.