Having a healthy, loving relationship with a parent can help a child's development. Maintaining such relationships can be difficult after divorce, especially in the case of relocation.
Obtaining a favorable child custody determination in regard to relocation may not be an easy process. It is important to understand a few important aspects of child custody and relocation in the state of Alaska.
Every move will constitute relocation. For instance, a move within 15 miles of the initial location does not count as a relocation regarding child custody. The move must be a distance far enough away that it impacts the current custody agreement as it stands.
In certain cases, parents may be able to negotiate a custody modification between themselves. However, in most instances, parents will depend on the court to make the determination. During the hearing, both parents will testify. Parents should be ready and able to present any evidence to support their claims. The parent opposing the move or certain terms of it must show how the move as is would negatively affect the child.
The best interest of the children
Ultimately, the court will strive to operate in the best interest of the children. To determine this, the judge will likely consider several different factors:
- Physical, educational and emotional needs of the child
- Physical and mental health of the parents and their abilities to provide
- Child's relationship with the parents and extended family
- Any history of abuse or domestic violence
Therefore, a successful case will focus on showing how the move will or will not negatively affect the children. Parents who can prove their points effectively may be able to get a judgment in their favor.
These are a few important aspects, but they do not cover the full gamut of considerations regarding a child custody agreement. Those considering relocation should take some time to review these and the child custody law in Alaska in detail.