After the finalization of your divorce, your entire life changed. Not only are you and your children adjusting to a new family dynamic, but you might also be considering moving to a different state to be closer to family, to accept a new job offer or for some other reason. Before you pack up and move, though, there is an important process that you must follow – so that you can avoid the dire consequences of moving without court approval.
The notice requirement
In most circumstances, Maryland law requires you to provide notice to both your ex-spouse and the divorce court of your intent to move. You must deliver this notice at least 90 days before the date of your planned move, to give your ex-spouse time to challenge or approve of the move, and to negotiate a new custody agreement.
There are two specific exceptions to the notice requirement. If you do not want to give notice to your ex-spouse of your move due to a history of abuse, the court can waive the notice requirement. The court can also reduce the time limit if you show that you have to move sooner than 90 days due to financial or other circumstances beyond your control.
Negotiating an agreement
If your ex-spouse is opposed to the move, and decides to challenge it, you may have to attend court hearings. In these hearings, the court will examine evidence and hear testimony before deciding whether or not to allow your move.
If your ex-spouse does not wish to challenge your move, you can work together to negotiate a new custody and visitation arrangement. You can then present this new arrangement to the court for approval.
In either case, the court will consider the best interest of your children first and foremost. This means that the court will only approve your move and new custody arrangement if they feel that it is the best thing for your children under the circumstances.
There are many reasons why you may wish to relocate with your children after your divorce. Just make sure you follow the proper procedure and obtain court authorization before you commit time and money to the move.