Seattle, WA family law attorney Douglas Becker talks about retaining custody when you have to move out of state for work.
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Relocation is handled differently in almost every state, and in this state there is actually a presumption that if a primary parent, that is who has more than half of the overnights, the residential overnights, wants to move that that is going to be approved. Now, the best interest of the child, they’re not always going to be taken care of that way, so any party that’s opposing it can have an opportunity to go to court and show why the outcome for the child is gonna be worse if they relocate than if they don’t, and that amounts, basically, to a request for custody. Everybody assumes the moving party is gonna move even though they can change their mind at the end, but the demonstration by the person opposing it is gonna end up needing to be that they can do a better job as a primary parent than having the child go and live with the current primary parent.
But the short answer is that there’s no automatic loss of the child that’s not nearly as opposed to that as it is in some states. The relocation is not nearly as negative as it is in some states and we feel that that gets to the best interests of the children a little bit better than either demanding that there be no relocation of the children or by saying it’s carte blanche and the primary parent can always move the children. But it can definitely be done and that’s what I do quite a bit.