How To Navigate Custody Arrangements When A Parent Moves

Picture this: you’re divorced with a custody agreement between you and your ex. But recently you’ve decided to move closer to your family, take a new job, or leave the state. However if you have children with your ex, you may run into a few roadblocks depending upon your custody agreement.

Your custody agreement will depend upon your current arrangement, the visitation schedule, and your ex’s flexibility. If you’re moving miles away, you may be able to work out an agreement outside of court. But if your ex doesn’t agree to your terms before moving, you may need to hire a lawyer to work out the fine details.

Let’s look at the important details about moving away from your home state and vital considerations you should include within your new custody agreement.


Important Facts To Consider Prior To Moving With Children

If you move significantly far (hours away) or out of state with children, there are multiple factors to consider, with or without a lawyer. Here’s what you need to explore:


Do You Have Primary Custody?

When you have primary custody of your child (or children), most of the time courts of Arkansas will allow you to move at will. It’s up to the secondary parent to prove that moving would negatively affect their child.





If you have 50/50 custody, splitting time between the children becomes difficult. Unless you can mutually agree on a custody agreement with your ex, you may end up back in court to fight for your rights. The individual moving will need to prove that a location change would be in the best interest of the children.


Will Moving Affect The Child’s Schooling?

If you’re moving to a new school district, it’s important to research school ratings. If your children enter a new district that has a lower rating than their current district, your ex may have a chance to argue in court for primary custody to keep your children within their given school district.


What Are The Childrens’ Ages?

It’s much easier to transition children into a new school at a young age. Older children may not want to leave or abandon their friends — which makes it more likely that they choose to stay with your ex. Depending upon their age, the judge will consider the child’s input, so if they want to stay within their school, your ex may obtain primary custody.


How Will You Exchange The Children?

When you move miles away, it affects custody exchanges. If you’re moving multiple states away, your children may need to travel to see the other parent. This can include train rides, plane trips, or long car rides.





If you have primary custody and move far away, your ex may not approve your suggested custody agreement. At that point, you’ll need a skilled family law attorney to fight for your rights.


Obtaining An Arkansas Family Law Attorney

Whether you’re looking to move but your ex won’t cosign your new custody arrangement or you're determined to fight your ex against their move, you’ll need to find a skilled lawyer to help your case.

The attorneys and paralegals at Hickey & Hull are available to hear your concerns and help fight for your right to move. Consider contacting one of our five law offices across Arkansas today to get started on your custody battle.