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When might a relocation require a custody modification?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Family Law |

Parents who share parental responsibilities in Louisiana are typically required to follow a custody order. Some adults negotiate their own custody arrangements, while others rely on a family law judge to establish their custody arrangements. Once a judge approves a final custody order, parents generally need to abide by the details of the order regarding how they share parental rights and responsibilities. The terms of a custody order often require compromises from both parents, and they need to adjust to the changes that sharing custody inspires for the family or they could face serious legal consequences.

However, there are some situations that make it necessary to modify an existing custody order because it no longer meets a family’s needs. A parent wanting to move away or relocate is one of the scenarios that might require a formal custody modification in Louisiana. When does a parent need approval or a custody modification if they intend to move?

Long-distance moves make modifications necessary

There are two scenarios in which Louisiana state law would require an update to a custody order because of a parent’s proposed move. The first situation is when they intend to leave the state. Any move that would alter the jurisdiction for custody matters will often require approval from the other parent or a modification from the courts.

The other scenario relates to distance and how it could impact shared custody. Any move that would take a parent more than 75 miles away from the other parent would require pre-approval. The parent proposing the move will typically need to provide written notice both to the other parent and to the Louisiana family courts.

If the parent responding contests the move, then a judge may have to review the case. They will look at the impact the move would have on family relationships and what, if any, benefits the children would derive from relocating. Louisiana judges may modify the order to allow the move or to accommodate the parent moving without the children.

Any major relocations that occur while children are still minors could necessitate a formal change to the existing custody order. Learning more about Louisiana’s family law statutes, and seeking legal guidance accordingly, can help those with shared custody make the best choices for themselves and their children.