When parents choose to raise a child separately, the process and parameters of the co-parenting relationship often evolve over time. In many cases, one parent may have reason to relocate some distance away from the other parent that fundamentally changes the nature of parenting between them.
If you and your child's other parent face difficult relocation conflicts, it is wise to prioritize this issue and let an attorney help you better understand your own goals and options. In some cases, you may find your parental rights are at greater risk than you realize.
If one parent wishes to take a child with him or her as he or she moves away, he or she must generally either reach an informal agreement to address the change in custody or parental roles, or a court must rule that the parent may take the child because it is in the child's best interests. If a parent simply leaves with a child and does not inform the other parent and reach an agreement about the matter, that parent may receive criminal charges of parental kidnapping.
Even if you believe your child's other parent is willing to reach a fair informal agreement, it is still wise have help from an experienced attorney to ensure that your agreement is truly reasonable. You may even ask the attorney to draw up a written agreement that fairly easily lays out the terms of the changing custody, for later reference.
Should your dispute turn ugly, don't hesitate to obtain qualified legal guidance to help you protect yourself and the child you love. Poorly handled custody disputes can lead to lasting relationship conflicts between you and your child's other parent or the child itself. Be sure that you use every tool at your disposal to address these issues when they arise.