What happens When A Custodial Parent Wants in West Virginia Wants To Relocate?

Portrait of happy family single mother and kid daughter embracing
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    One of the most challenging issues in child custody arises when a custodial parent wants to move out of state or at a distance that substantially burdens the other parent’s contact with the child. Parents seek to relocate for a number of reasons, including:

    • To be closer to extended family
    • To pursue a new career opportunity
    • To pursue a romantic relationship
    • To enjoy a better quality of life

    However, a custodial parent whose children are subjects of a court-issued child custody order cannot simply move. West Virginia Code §48-9-403 lists a number of steps in the process to modify a custody plan to allow relocation. First, the parent proposing the move must provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice of the intended move to the other parent, which must include:

    • A proposed date of relocation
    • The new address
    • A reason for the intended move
    • A proposed modification of the parenting plan
    • Information on how the other parent can respond

    Following a notice of relocation, the next step is the parents’ attempt to reach an agreement on a revised parenting plan. Often, this step includes mediation.

    If parents cannot reach agreement, the case goes to court, and the judge applies numerous factors to decide whether the proposed move is in the best interest of the children. Weight is also given to the relative time the children have been spending with each parent. If the parent requesting the move “has been exercising a significant majority of the custodial responsibility,” the law favors a move made in “good faith,” which generally means for a “legitimate purpose” rather than to cause hardship to the other parent. But the court might still approve a move even when there’s no proof of good faith, if the move is in the best interests of the children.

    When the court approves relocation, the law requires the court to “attempt to minimize impairment” of the other parent’s relationship with the children.

    For knowledgeable and effective child custody litigation, consult an experienced family law attorney at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC.



    More Posts

    Send Us A Message
    By submitting you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

    Sign-up for Free Legal Consultation

    To make an appointment, call Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC at 304-842-4300 or fill out the form below.

    Start Here

    By submitting you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

    By submitting you agree to our terms and privacy policy.