As you move on with your life following your divorce in Connecticut, you will no doubt encounter a number of new opportunities. One of these may be the chance to relocate to a new area (either to be closer to family or a new romantic partner, or to pursue new career opportunities).
If you share custody of your kids with your ex-spouse, your move will almost certainly have an impact on your custody arrangement. It goes without saying, then, that any potential relocation requires that you work with both your ex-spouse and the family court having jurisdiction over your case prior to the move.
Understanding your legal obligation
The first thing you need to know is what your legal obligation is prior to a proposed relocation. Many states establish a window of time prior to which you must notify any party having an interest in your case of your intentions. Connecticut does not. However, you still must take certain steps prior to moving to ensure that your individual custodial rights are not negatively impacted. According to Section 46b-56d of Connecticut’s Statutes, the burden of proof falls to you to show the court the following:
- That your proposed move is for a legitimate purpose
- That purpose warrants relocation
- The relocation is in the best interest of your children
Working with your ex-spouse to amend your custody agreement
Even if your argument successfully supports your wish to relocate, the court will still want to ensure that your ex-spouse maintains consistent contact with your kids. Thus, your custody agreement will likely change. You, however, may be able to control those changes by working with your ex-spouse to come up with an amended agreement that works for both of you. The court will often reward your collaboration by enacting your proposed changes.