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Is It Possible to Relocate with Children After the Divorce?

Jeffers Law Office June 19, 2023

After a divorce, your life changes. Often, each parent has to adjust to new financial expectations, legal requirements, social changes, and more. In most cases, this transition makes one or both parents find new living arrangements. This can become more complicated if children are involved, especially when you (or the other parent) want to move to a new state.  

If you’re wondering about your rights to relocate with children after a divorce, get in touch with a passionate family law attorney. Jeffers Law Office offers you elite representation in and out of court, answering your family law questions and helping you get the support you deserve.  

Reach out today to schedule a free phone consultation to learn your options to relocate—or, to find a peaceful resolution as your ex-partner tries to relocate. With an office in Overland Park, Kansas, Jeffers Law Office also serves Johnson County, including Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, Olathe, and Prairie Village 

Relocating With Your Child in Kansas 

Relocating with a child after divorce can seem like a challenging and bewildering process, making it crucial for you to understand the expectations involved. If you plan to relocate with your child, whether it's within or outside of Kansas, or if you intend to travel for more than 90 days outside of Kansas with your child, it is necessary for you to inform the other parent at least 30 days prior to your departure. This notification should be sent using restricted mail with a "return receipt" to ensure proof of delivery. 

However, these requirements are not always necessary if the non-custodial parent has been convicted of any of the following:  

  • sex crimes 

  • violent crimes 

  • unlawful disclosure of tax information 

  • prostitution 

  • crimes against children (such as commercial exploitation of a child) 

Failing to comply with the notification requirements can lead to consequences such as being charged with contempt of court, paying legal fees, losing primary custody, and (in some cases) receiving potential charges of parental kidnapping. Make sure you follow the notification requirements before making any changes to your residence. If you or your ex-partner has violated these notification requirements, legal action may be necessary. 

Whether you have the approval of the other parent or not, having an attorney’s guidance can be beneficial for everyone, including helping you negotiate and create new child visitation and custody plans, drafting any necessary documents, and advocating on your behalf in front of a judge. 

Factors the Court Will Consider 

Ideally, before moving and after receiving the required notice, the other parent’s approval needs to occur. If they don’t approve, the moving parent will need to get approval from the court. The court will consider important factors, including: 

  • the effect of the move on the child’s best interests

  • past choices of each parent (note: they will take into consideration whether the custodial parent gave a 30-day notice) 

  • the effect on each parent’s rights and finances 

  • changes in custody 

  • changes in visitation 

It’s important to realize that the parent seeking to move will need to prove that it is in the best interests of the child. If it’s not, the courts may deny the request. Therefore, it’s essential to have the support of an attorney to prepare for court proceedings.   

Visitation for the Noncustodial Parent 

When crafting a new parenting time schedule, it’s important that the child’s best interests are taken into consideration. If the child is used to frequent visits from the other parent, moving can be a huge adjustment for both parent and child. However, there are options for creating a schedule that works.  

For example, if a child is used to alternating weekends, this may not be possible after the move, depending on how far away the move is. In cases like these, one option for the judges is to award the other parent parenting time for longer periods of time during school breaks, such as holidays or summer breaks. While it is a change that everyone will need to adjust to, this arrangement can promote fairness and encourage a positive experience for all parties involved.  

Take Your Next Steps Forward 

If you are in the Overland Park, Kansas area and want to understand your next steps—whether it’s moving to a new state or fighting to keep your children near you—get in touch with Jeffers Law Office for compassionate legal advocacy. Attorney Jeffers will advocate for your rights, providing you with peace of mind in knowing that your interests are protected. Reach out today to schedule a free phone consultation.