Oregon Divorce Guide

Relocation Of A Child’s Home

Removing a child from the state or somewhere else in the state can result in contempt of court charges or worse if the removal violates a court order or violates the other parent’s rights to their allocation of parental responsibility.

Relocation of parent with minor child. Burden of proof. Factors considered by courtMoving the child away from the other parent

If a custody order is already in place, the type of custody granted will have a direct impact on the procedure to relocate a child from the area the child was in when the order was granted. If sole custody has been granted to a parent, that person enjoys the presumptive right to relocate the child, and the non-custodial parent must show cause why the move would not be in the child’s best interest. Where joint custody has been granted, each parent is on equal footing when pleading their case. Where a custody order has not been issued, the court will determine the following

  1. the relocation is for a legitimate purpose
  2. the proposed location is reasonable in light of such purpose, and
  3. the relocation is in the best interests of the child.
Inevitably someone wants to relocate

As time passes, lives change, and with those changes come living in more than one location. When addresses change of people parenting their children, challenges arise, and the courts attempt to proactively deal with those changes. Most courts include in the parenting plan provisions for when either parent wishes to relocate. When the custodial parent wishes to move the child’s residence, and the move is greater than 60 miles, the custodial parent must get either the other parent’s consent, or the approval of the court.

In cases where the custodial parent has moved the child without consent of either, they are subject to sanctions by the jurisdiction they left. The <em>fleeing</em> custodian can be forced to return to where they left, and extreme case, lose primary custody. The custodial parent faces an uphill challenge, in that s/he remains a resident of the State s/he left until residency is established (usually 6 months). This presumes, of course, that the noncustodial parent goes to court to recover his/her child and parenting time.

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The court must weigh the best interests of the child with those of the parents

In determining whether to approve the relocation of the child under subsection (a) of this section, the court will consider, but such consideration shall not be limited to:

The burden is on the parent seeking modification of a custody award to prove that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and will not be harmful to the child’s best interest.In re Marriage of Colson, 183 Or. App. 12,51 P.3d 607 (2002)
  1. Each parent’s reasons for seeking or opposing the relocation
  2. the quality of the relationships between the child and each parent
  3. the impact of the relocation on the quantity and the quality of the child’s future contact with the non-relocating parent
  4. the degree to which the relocating parent’s and the child’s life may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally by the relocation, and
  5. the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child through suitable visitation arrangements.
A person is guilty of interference with custody when:
  • Being a relative of a child less than 16 years old, intending to hold the child permanently or for a prolonged period and knowing that the person has no legal right to do so, the person takes or entices the child from the child’s lawful custodian; or
  • Knowing that the person has no legal right to do so, the person takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or other person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or an institution

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