Parental Relocation

*To get the most up-to-date information on relocation it is always best to consult with our Washington State relocation lawyer.

The basic premise of relocation cases is that a parent has a constitutional right to move and live where he or she wishes as long as it is not inherently bad for the children or somehow dangerous.  Common sense is the best gauge of this standard. If the parent is trying to relocate the child out of the country, the Court will generally want to make sure the new country is a signatory to the Hague Convention Treaty regarding child custody and child abduction.

The law presumes the moving parent is acting in good faith when proposing a move and presumes that parent will be granted the right to relocate. In opposing relocation, the non-moving parent must show through 11 specific factors that the move is detrimental to the child (and this detriment must generally be more than merely losing time with that parent and extended family).

Please note the law has changed significantly with regard to relocations when you have a joint/equal custody arrangement. Please reference our legal guide for more information or consult with one of our relocation lawyers.

If you are the person relocating, you must notify the other party no less than 60 days prior to the date of the intended relocation, or no more than five days after the date that the person learned of the relocation. There are a few exceptions, but this is the standard. Generally, you do not want to withhold this information, but it is always best to consult with a lawyer first to ensure you are properly notifying the other party and Court.

How can I get permission to move?

There are two ways to receive permission to move:

Reach an agreement with the other parent and have an agreed upon order entered.

File a motion and show the court how the move will benefit you and your child and how you propose that parenting time will continue.

Why You Need Envision’s Relocation Attorney?

Our work ranges from helping clients secure the full benefit of state and local financial incentives to navigating the vagaries of regulatory, zoning, tax and land-use requirements. We have the knowledge, experience and credibility with state and local officials to negotiate economic development incentives, tax impacts and regulatory interpretations. Envision’s relocation law firm’s full menu of legal and advocacy services allows us to assist in thoroughly analyzing all aspects of your business. With a broader perspective on our clients’ businesses, we can more effectively advocate for financial incentives and seek to promote a state regulatory and business climate designed to minimize the burdens imposed on our clients.

Military Relocation

What The Washington State Law Says About Relocating With a Child?

If you or your spouse are a military servicemember, you know that it is not uncommon to be deployed or reassigned. When this happens, you need to be prepared and make sure that you take the appropriate legal steps when it comes to the issue of custody and relocating with a child. Since this is not an uncommon situation, there are many legal arguments on both ends of the spectrum whether you are the custodial or non-custodial. Each scenario is a little bit different and the court factors in many different details about the relocation to include distance, schools, crime rates, special needs of the child, extended family, financial stability, etc.

In the State of Washington, if the custodial parent (the parent who has the greater amount of time with the child) wants to move away with the child, there are a number of initial considerations: It is always better to consult with a relocation attorney for up-to-date info.

If There Is No Custody Order:

The first question is whether Washington’s relocation law applies. If there is no existing court order for custody and visitation, then the relocation law doesn’t apply and the custodial parent is free to move.

However, just because the custodial parent is free to move doesn’t mean that parent has unfettered power. The custodial parent can’t violate Washington’s laws against custodial interference (meaning, laws that protect non-custodial parents—if the custodial parent violates these laws, jail time is a possible outcome) and can’t violate the UCCJEA (also known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act—a law that’s effective in every state to decide which state’s courts have jurisdiction if custody is disputed in more than one place). Even if there isn’t an existing court order, it’s wise for the custodial parent to provide the non-custodial parent with notice of relocation plans. It’s also a good idea to consult a relocation lawyer before moving.

If There Is A Custody Order:

If there is an existing court order dividing custody and visitation between the two parents, then the question becomes whether the Washington law applies to that order.

If the custodial parent simply wants to move to a new residence that’s within the child’s existing school district, the non-custodial parent doesn’t have a right to object.