How does Virginia handle parental relocation?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2020 | Family Law |

Your relationship with your kids in Alexandria can often be independent of that which you share with their other parent. You not being together as a couple does not necessarily also mean that you do not still have a strong bond with your children. It can, however, complicate matters should their other parent desire to relocate. 

Your ability to challenge (or at least have some say) in such a move depends on your custody situation. If you have any custody or visitation rights, then your kids’ other parent cannot simply pack them up and move away (even if they have primary custody). 

Required notice of a potential relocation 

Per Section 20-124.5 of the Code of Virginia, they have to provide you with notice at least 30 days in advance of a proposed relocation. Typically that notice should include information such as: 

  • Their destination location 
  • Their new address and phone number (if already known) 
  • The proposed date of the relocation 
  • The reason they want to move away 

Typically the court does not consider barring the move; rather, it will determine whether their reasons for moving justify potentially impacting your relationship with them and whether the move warrants a modification of your custody agreement. 

Working with your kids’ other parent prior to a move 

Your children’s other parent’s potential move can easily become a source of contention, yet it does not have to be. The two of you can work together to come up with a revised custody or visitation agreement that allows for the move while maintaining your relationship with the kids. If the two of you can do this on your own, the court will typically respect your wishes.