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Can you relocate with your children if you have shared custody?

You need a plan to rebuild your life after a divorce. If you share custody with your ex, which is common in Washington, there will be more limitations on your options than there would be without children.

The two of you will need to see each other frequently, and you will both have a say in the lives of the children. If the kids are with you more, you may need to factor them into all of your life decisions. When you start thinking about accepting a new job or going back to school, you have to consider moving with your children to accomplish those goals.

Can you relocate when you share custody after a Washington divorce?

You need permission to relocate

One parent might need to move back home or seek new opportunities elsewhere after a divorce. However, their decision should not impact the rights of the other parent. You have to notify your ex and the court in writing if you intend to move.

Your ex can cooperate with you, or they can make the process much more difficult. If they agree with the move, then you can request an uncontested relocation modification to your existing parenting plan. If they do not agree with the move, then you will have to go to court and show that it is in the best interest of the children. If the courts do not approve the relocation, then you may not be able to move regardless of the opportunities you have elsewhere.

Understanding the rules that apply to parental relocation can make handling this difficult topic after divorce easier.