In divorce or separation cases, the primary consideration of a family court is always the well-being of the children. One way that courts look after children during the separation of spouses is allowing both parents access to the kids. However, if you have sole physical custody of children during your divorce and you wish to relocate, then the situation becomes a bit tricky if your partner has joint legal custody. If you find yourself in such a case, this article highlights what is expected of you.
Inform Your Ex-Partner in Good Time
In joint legal custody, both parents will likely have an equal say regarding possible relocation. If one partner is forced to relocate for one reason or another, then they have to inform the other party about their intention in good time. This allows ex-partners adequate time to discuss the implications of relocation to the children and reach an agreement. However, if the relocating ex-partner waits longer than necessary, then it becomes difficult to reach an amicable settlement, which might lead to complications. Once you reach a deal with your partner, you can make visitation arrangements.
Apply for Consent Orders
In most cases, if exes have maintained a good relationship after a divorce process, the chances of reaching an agreement are high. However, such an arrangement is not binding without a written agreement, which is why the application of a consent order is essential. The consent order is proof of the settlement between ex-partners, and it can dictate the terms of visitation rights in a court of law. For instance, if a prior court order stated that your ex-partner would be entitled to two visitation sessions per week, the consent orders obtained after an agreement on relocation might prolong the visitation period accordingly. Notably, failure to apply for a consent order can complicate future cases regarding custody of children.
Apply for Court Orders
You should not confuse consent orders with court orders because the two are mutually exclusive. Applying for a court order is considered the last resort when ex-partners cannot seem to agree. Most importantly, you have to ask for a court order to grant you relocation permission when your ex-partner does not approve of it. It is important to remember that while it might be within your right to make such an application, it is not automatic that a court will grant it. Notably, if you decide to relocate without a court order, then you will be violating your custody rights.
Contact a lawyer at a family law firm for additional advice.