What Does the Law Say About Relocating a Child in Kansas?
Child custody cases are sometimes faced with challenges, with custodial parents sometimes violating the terms of the order. Custody orders have a parenting plan that stipulates who has physical and legal custody of the child and how and when the non-custodial can access the child.
While there are no specific laws concerning child relocation, KSA 23-3222 guides custodial parents on what to do if they wish to relocate with the child. If you’re a parent whose visitation rights have been violated because the other parent relocated with the child, consult skilled family lawyers in Overland Park for legal counsel and representation.
When Is Relocation an Issue?
Under Kansas law, a parent can have one of the following types of child custody:
- Legal custody, which grants the right to make crucial decisions concerning the child’s life
- Physical custody, meaning they live with the child some or all of the time
- Visitation rights that allow them to access, visit, and spend time with the child
Child custody attorneys in Overland Park explain that whatever custody rights a parent has, they can’t move away with the child without the other parent’s consent or the court’s approval. A parent must notify the other parent 30 days in advance if the move entails going away for more than 90 days or changing the child’s official residence.
The notice has to be written and sent through mail, with a request for a return receipt. It must include the following information:
- The address, alternate mailing address, and home telephone number of the new residence
- Names and ages of the people living in the new home and those who intend to live there
- The name of the new school that the child will attend
- The reasons for the proposed relocation
- The date of the relocation
- A proposal for a revised custody arrangement
Failure to provide a written notice when taking the children away under the above conditions is considered contempt of court. The only time the notice isn’t required is if the non-custodial parent has been convicted of committing crimes against the child.
What If I Don’t Approve the Relocation?
If you receive a relocation notice from your ex-spouse, you may object to the move for various reasons. Skilled child custody lawyers in Overland Park can help you move the matter to court to resolve it legally. A lot goes into the process, with the parent who wants to relocate carrying the burden of proof to show that the move is in the child’s best interests.
Factors Courts Evaluate in Deciding a Custodial Parent’s Request to Relocate with the Child
Kansas courts make decisions concerning children based on the child’s best interests principle. The preference is to keep both parents living close to each other so they can spend as much time as possible with the child and be involved in their growth, education, and daily activities.
However, substantial changes may occur, requiring a parent to relocate. Judges must weigh the potential benefits and disadvantages of the move concerning the child’s best interests. For example, moving to another state or country may lead to the overall improvement of the child’s life if the parent moves because of:
- A better job opening or increased earnings from a new job
- Closer proximity to the extended family, who can help with the child’s care and support
- A new marriage that could put the child in a two-parent family.
Judges will also consider the adverse effects of the move, such as reduced contact with the non-custodial parent. Other factors that may affect a court’s decision in relocation and child custody cases are:
- Whether the parents can afford long-distance visitation
- Whether the relocating parent has a good reason to move or is acting to frustrate the other parent by making it difficult for them to spend time with the child
- Whether the non-custodial parent is objecting to the move and the reasons for doing so
- The child’s need for stability in other relationships such as school, neighborhood, and religious group
- The child’s preference in the custody dispute depends on their age
What Are the Consequences of Moving with a Child Without the Necessary Permission?
Typically, divorcing spouses sign a divorce settlement, which includes co-parenting arrangements. The agreement may state what will happen if a parent moves with the child without informing the other.
If your ex-spouse has repeatedly violated a child custody order and you can’t seem to resolve the issues amicably, talk to Overland child custody lawyers to help you seek a legal solution. Parents could face severe consequences if they violate the order, including:
- Hefty fines, jail time, or both
- Loss of primary custody if the other parent seeks modification of the child custody order based on the move
- Criminal charges such as parental child abduction
It’s essential for a parent to thoroughly check the child custody order for conditions or requirements of moving with a child. If the divorce case is ongoing, both parents must adhere to the restrictions on relocating or traveling with the child.
A Skilled Family Lawyer Helping You Address Relocation in Your Child Custody Case
Being denied custody of your child can be frustrating. It can get worse if your ex-spouse violates your visitation rights by moving away with the child without your consent or the court’s approval. If you’re in such a situation, seek the legal counsel and assistance of experienced family attorneys in Overland Park. They can assess your situation and advise you about your rights and how to handle the issue.
Barnds Law LLC has a team of passionate and dedicated child custody lawyers who can help you in your child custody case. Tell us if your visitation rights have been violated or if you disagree with the parenting schedule. We will carefully listen to your grievances and work with you to find the most favorable solution for your child’s sake. Call us at 913-514-0909 to schedule a strategy session.