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Reviewing the rules on parental relocation

It may be next to impossible to expect that there not be some strain placed on the relationships parents in Columbus have with their children following their divorces. That strain is compounded not only by the time they spend away from their kids, but also the amount of distance that exists between them when the children are with the other parent. This is why so many are ready to fight when their ex-spouses declare in intention to move away and take their kids with them. 

Can a divorced parent do this? Per Section 3109.051(G)(1) of Ohio's Laws and Rules, the answer to that question is yes (yet only if he or she is a residential parent, and not without first following proper procedure). That procedure starts by filing a notice of intent to relocate with the court. The court may then notify the non-residential parent of this development. The non-residential parent can then protest the move, which then puts the court in position to either revise the couple's visitation schedule or modify their custody agreement altogether. 

When reviewing a petition to relocate, the court will of course take the intent of the move into consideration. There are many different reasons why people chose to relocate. Of the number of relocations observed in 2016, the U.S. Census Department cited the following as being the most common reasons behind them: 

  • Attaining better housing
  • Family matters
  • Employment opportunities 
  • Personal reasons 

Specifically, the court will rule on whether the residential parent has a valid reason for moving. If so, then it must consider how the proposed relocation will affect the non-residential parent's visitation. Ultimately, it may move to revise the non-residential parent's visitation rights, placing added responsibility on the relocating parent to ensure that the other still has consistent access to the kids. 

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