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Custody (Relocation) – Prevention

Experienced St. Thomas, VI Child Custody Attorney Opposes Parental Relocation

Determined representation for parents enforcing existing custody orders

Relocation cases come about most frequently when a custodial parent petitions the court to allow a change of residence to a location that would interfere with the noncustodial parent’s parenting time. These can be incredibly emotional conflicts, as parents face the prospect of losing regular contact with their children. Julie Evert, P.C. advocates strongly for noncustodial parents whose rights are threatened. Depending on the circumstances, I may be able to halt the move altogether by opposing the motion vigorously in family court. When enforcing the existing custody order is unrealistic, I look for creative solutions that allow parents to renegotiate their parenting plan to allow joint custody. I am determined to work for the best possible results under the facts of your case.

Factors the court considers when deciding a move-away case

Family courts in St. Thomas, VI decide all custody cases based on the “best interests of the child.” Move-away cases are no different. The court considers the totality of the circumstances in the child’s life, weighing the following factors:

    The reason for the proposed move
    Whether the current custodial arrangement serves the child’s interest
    The distance of the move
    The age of the child
    The child’s relationship with each parent
    The parents’ ability to communicate and cooperate effectively and to put the child’s interests above their own
    The wishes of the child, if mature enough
    The child’s community ties, including his or her circle of friends
    The child’s health and educational needs

I build a comprehensive case that shows your relationship with your child in the best light possible.

Effective strategies for opposing custodial parent relocation

Parental relocation cases come down to the question of whether the child will be better off living with the custodial parent in the new location, even if it burdens the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. If you want the court to answer no to that question, you must demonstrate that you are an active participant and a positive force in your child’s life. Courts look closely at a parent’s track record of involvement, so you should be able to demonstrate your bona fides in several ways:

    Be positive about your child’s relationship with the other parent and avoid any negative commentary.
    Be involved in the major decisions made for your child’s health and welfare.
    Make the most of your parenting time; show up consistently and make the time as meaningful as possible.
    Document any interference by the other parent with your parenting time.
    Know what’s going on in your child’s life, including the names of influential persons: teachers, coaches, private instructors, doctors, close friends, etc.
    Demonstrate your ability to communicate and cooperate effectively and to put your child’s interests above your own.

Finally, confer with a family law attorney immediately upon learning of a possible move. This will allow you to craft a strategy that may include a motion to modify your existing parenting plan to give you sole custody or joint custody.
The process to oppose a move often involves in-depth custody evaluation by court-appointed psychologists and/or social workers. I guide you through every step of the process, providing the personalized legal counsel you need to achieve your goals.

Contact a dedicated family lawyer for move-away cases in St. Thomas, VI

Allowing your ex-spouse to move your children to a far location can unfairly burden your relationship with them. If you suspect your ex is planning such a move, you need a strategy to block the move or gain joint custody. To get an experienced family law attorney on your side, call Julie Evert, P.C. at 877-315-5689 or contact my office online to schedule a consultation.

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