Professional Legal Support For Custodial and Noncustodial Parents
The relocation of a child is a very serious legal matter. Especially for the noncustodial parent, this move can deeply impact the relationship enjoyed for so many years. In addition, relocation impacts other positive relationships that have been established over the years, including friends and other family members. Furthermore, relocation can impact a child’s academic, social, and religious life. With so much at stake, a parent who wishes to relocate with a child and the one potentially left behind need to speak with an attorney about this matter. When parents do not agree to the terms of relocation, a court may need to intervene and decide on the matter. Over the years, the laws have changed in Georgia. Relocation is not a sure thing for the custodial parent anymore. If you need quality legal support, whether you are the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent, contact The Alfred Law Firm to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.
Georgia relocation laws
For many years, if a custodial parent wanted to move with a child, there was very little stopping them. It was presumed by the courts that relocation should be permitted, regardless of any opposition. There was prima facie right (Latin for presumed right) that the custodial parent retains custody, no matter where they live. Others refer to this as the bright line test.
Things changed in a landmark court decision in 2003. Bodne v. Bodne changed custody laws altogether, especially how the courts handle relocation. Now, nothing regarding relocation of a child is presumed and courts will, like many other states, consider factors that will determine what is in the best interest of the child. After this case, it would no longer use the bright line test. The requesting parent must provide a 30-day notice of the move, providing the other party time to object the move. A court’s decision is completely dependent on a judge’s discretion. Some factors a court may consider include:
- Age and health of the child and each parent
- Impact to the noncustodial parent if the move was approved
- Academic impact of the move on the child
- Social impacts of the move on the child
- The practicality of travel options
- Financial impacts of sharing travel costs
- Impact of the relocation on the general quality of life of the child
Unlawful removal of a child from the country
Though rare, there are times where we see a child unlawfully removed from the United States. This international matter is often governed by the laws of the Hague Convention. These cases are complex and deserve the attention of an experienced attorney with significant knowledge of these laws and how they impact international custody cases. If you face contested Hague Convention matters involving the removal of children from the United States, contact our firm to represent you.
Contact an experienced relocation attorney
Whether you are the custodial parent who wishes to move or the noncustodial parent opposing it, contact The Alfred Law Firm. We are passionate attorneys ready to protect your rights and interests. We recognize the impact the issue of relocation can have on the family. We are ready to assess your matter, guide you through your options, and passionately represent you in your domestic or international matter. Contact The Alfred Law Firm for a consultation.