Child Relocation


When a move threatens one parent’s time with their child, the courts must ensure that relocating is something that will  be in the child's best interest.

Physical custody covers the living arrangements for the child or children. It does not involve decision making.

Child Custody Basics

Physical Custody

Physical custody is often shared jointly with the child splitting their time between the homes of both parents. This becomes difficult with distance. 

What if one parent wants to move?

Preserving Contact Rights


Oregon laws establish procedural rules and notice requirements in order to preserve the contact rights of the parent who is not relocating.

Allowable moves

Oregon law allows for a move of up to 60 miles away from a current residence with no need to notify or get authorization from the courts.


One parent may move up to:



Preserving Contact Rights


Any move farther than 60 miles requires notification of both the courts and the noncustodial parent.

The Court Will Consider

The positive outcomes of a move

The negative outcomes of a move

The best interests of the child or children

The level of involvement of the noncustodial parent

The relationship with the noncustodial parent

Allowable moves

The courts still take careful and unbiased consideration of all relevant factors, and will err on the side of caution regarding moves.


The court will not base a decision on:

The parent's wishes

In order for one parent to move with a child, the custody arrangement must be legally changed.

Relocation Procedures


The parent  considering a move must give reasonable notice to both the noncustodial parent and the courts of their intentions.

Reasonable Notice

Custody Agreement

Either parent can then file for a modification to the custody plan in favor of or against the move.



Each parent may present arguments before the court about how the child's circumstances would change for better or worse.

Demonstrate Case

A judge will decide whether to allow or deny changes to the custody plan and the proposed move.

Court Determination

Court Approval

Parents can agree on a new plan on their own, but it must be approved by the courts before a move.


If you or your former spouse is considering a move, contact one of our family law attorneys at Gearing, Rackner & McGrath, LLP. 

Seek Counsel

Our custody lawyers can guide you through the process, explain the law, and represent your interests.