Can The Custodial Parent Move Out of State With The Child?

Can The Custodial Parent Move Out of State With The Child?

Child custody can become contentious even when the parents do not have animosity toward each other. Children are a sensitive subject for parents who both want a close relationship. Such a connection can be more accessible when the child is geographically close to their parents. However, circumstances may change when a custodial parent needs to move to a different state. If a parent has a child custody order, it can affect or even prohibit the custodial parent from moving out of state with the child.

Oregon has two types of custody arrangements – sole and joint custody., In Oregon, a court cannot order joint custody unless both parents agree. The judge’s primary consideration for custody is the child’s best interests and welfare. The court must apply the following factors listed in state law to determine child custody:

  • The emotional connection between the child and other members of the family;
  • Each parent’s interest in and attitude toward their child;
  • The parent’s desire to continue the existing relationship with the child;
  • The abuse of the parent to the other parent;
  • Preference for the parent who primarily cares for the child; and
  • Whether the parent is willing and able to encourage and assist in a continued relationship with the other parent

In a joint custody arrangement, both parents share the decision-making, care, and control of the child. One parent’s home may be the primary residence for the child. The custody order may provide that the child lives in both parents’ homes on a split schedule. The custodial parent with sole custody has the authority to make the major decisions about the child. The noncustodial parent receives parenting time, which allows the parent to visit with the child at set times.

The parenting plan outlines the terms of the custody and parenting time regarding:

  • Residential schedules
  • Holidays, birthdays and vacations
  • Weekends
  • Communication access
  • Relocation of parents
  • Noncustodial parent's access to the child
  • The minimum amount of parenting time

The judge puts the conditions for child support, custody, and parenting time in a court order. The court must include a provision that neither parent can move more than 60 miles from the other without notifying the other parent. Therefore, the custodial parent must give reasonable notice to the noncustodial parent before moving out of state with the child if the relocation distance requires notification. The moving parent must also provide the court with a copy of the notice.,

The provision in the parenting plan that addresses the relocation of parents can control whether the custodial parent can move out of state with the child. It may prohibit the parent from moving the child out of Oregon if the relocation interferes with the noncustodial parent’s ability to have parenting time. The noncustodial parent can go to court and object to relocating the child out of state.

The judge may approve or deny the custodial parent’s ability the move out of state with the child. However, the parent still must comply with the parenting time if the court approves the relocation. When the child moves more than 60 miles from the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent must make the necessary accommodations to maintain the visitation terms. Under Oregon law, the court may reconsider custody if the custodial parent repeatedly and unreasonably denies or interferes with parenting time.

Other Divorce Frequently Asked Questions