When a divorce is finalized, life changes. For better or worse, all parties involved are affected – especially children. Parents should seek to make these life changes as seamless as possible.
Given the transitory nature of society, one of the topics on this issue is that of relocation after divorce. Mom got a new job… Dad got transferred by his company…all of these issues arise. Not only is this one of the most complex issues, it is one of the hardest issues on the post-divorce world of the parties.
Relocation immediately impacts numerous areas– from communication issues, previously discussed in the “Virtual Visitation” blog, to immediate face to face contact between the child and the non-custodial parent. The Iowa Courts look with scrutiny on cases where one parent is relocating a substantial distance, especially if that parent is the custodial parent. Questions surrounding why the move is transpiring, the reason for the move, the accommodations for the children, the school district where the children will be attending, the childcare arrangements for the children and the like will all be issues that the Court will want answered. The Court recognizes that there is no way around the fact that children are affected by the move, however, the support of both parents can make the transition easier.
The distance of the relocation may also warrant modification of the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage to afford the non-custodial parent “maximum continuing contact” with the children. It may even warrant a change in the physical care of the children. Iowa law provides potential grounds for modification of the physical custody of the children from that stated in the Decree if the custodial parent is relocation more than 150 miles from the location the custodial parent resided at the time of the entry of the decree. Court action may be imminent. Seeking the advice of an attorney before making any decision to relocate is advisable.
For more information on this or similar issues, please contact Shannon Simpson at Simpson Legal Group, LLC today at (712) 256-9899.