What Matters Most
THE Stevens Firm, P.A. Family Law Center
349 E. Main Street, Suite 200, Spartanburg, SC 29302 • www.SCFamilyLaw.com • (864) 598-9172 June 2018
The Complex Nature of Relocation Cases
Is Litigation Worth the Move?
In the last 20 years, society has become increasingly mobile. Social media is a major part of life, and people are less likely to live in one town their entire lives due to online dating and broader access to employment opportunities. People move for many reasons, and summer tends to be one of the most popular times for relocation. In our office, we see an uptick in relocation cases once the school year ends. People move for many reasons, like job transfers or opportunities, family obligations, military obligations, educational opportunities, fresh starts, or just simply because they want to experience something new. Moving with children can be an ordeal and requires additional planning. However, relocation cases can be as complicated as the move itself. Adults have the right to live wherever they want. The court can’t stop a parent from moving, but they do have the authority to prevent a child from moving with one parent against the other parent’s wishes. In these cases, the court will often make their ruling depending on three things: where the parent wants to move, the reason for the move, and the child’s relationship with their other parent. While a short-distance move won’t always mean an “easy” relocation custody case, a long-distance move will almost always equal a complicated case for the family court to decide. Each case is unique; however, we can
usually gauge the court’s decision based on the three factors above. When our clients come to us with relocation cases, we tell them they have three options. First, a client can move without the court’s or other parent’s approval and wait to see if the other parent has an opinion or files for legal
action. We don’t recommend this option. Second, the client can give the other parent notice of their intention to move and give them a reasonable amount of time to object. We recommend this option because it offers some flexibility for the other parent while also keeping our client’s autonomy intact. Third, the client can file an action with the court and ask permission to move their child. The benefit of this option is that it yields a definite answer from the court, but it’s not the fastest process, and it can be costly.
If you intend to file a relocation case, there is one thing you need to consider. The court will often investigate the location where you plan to move so that they can make the best determination for your child. The entire process can be quite costly, and clients often decide that the move is not worth the expense
“Relocation cases can be as complicated as the move itself.”
of litigation. Call our team today at (864) 598-9172 if you have given thought to relocating. We can help you weigh your options and determine the best course for you and your child.
Reminder About Our Firm’s Communication Policy Our promise to you is that while we are working on your case, we don’t take inbound phone calls, faxes, or emails. Our senior partner, Ben Stevens, takes no unscheduled inbound phone calls, as we have found this makes him much more productive and enables him to focus on getting your case resolved faster. You can always call our office at (864) 598-9172 and schedule an in-person or phone appointment with any of our attorneys, usually within 24–48 hours. We believe this approach is much better than the endless game of phone tag played by most businesses today. Email is also an efficient way to communicate with us, but please
be advised that emails are not typically checked more than twice per day. If you need something quickly, don’t email — call our office and speak with one of our assistants, who will be happy to help you. Disclaimer: This publication is intended to educate the general public about family law issues. It is not intended to be legal advice. Every case is different. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed so long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety and proper credit is attributed to “The Stevens Firm, P.A. — Family Law Center (SCFamilyLaw.com).”
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