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How should you approach the court on custody modification?

A promotion that comes with a sizable boost in salary is very exciting. You feel pleased that your employer recognizes your hard work, but there is just one problem: You must relocate from Dayton to Indianapolis.

A move out of state will require modification to your child custody agreement. How should you approach the court, and how will the court likely respond?

Things change

The state of Ohio allows you to modify your existing child custody agreement whenever you wish; the court recognizes that changes happen in people’s lives. Under ordinary circumstances, a modification would be a simple undertaking if you and the other parent agree. A move out of state, however, requires making significant changes to the current parenting arrangements, and you must support your request with evidence concerning the proposed relocation.

About your child’s welfare

In any petition for child custody modification, the primary concern will be whether the requested change is in the best interests of the child. In your case, you are the residential parent. Your nine-year-old son resides with you and the other parent has frequent visitation rights. The court will want to know about the revised parenting plan and will ask questions about the new home and community in Indianapolis, education plans in place, and what the prospects are for new friends and social interaction for your son. In other words, the court will want assurance that your son will have a stable home life and that he will adjust well to the new environment.

Presenting evidence

Unless the other parent is in complete agreement with your plans for relocation, you will both have to provide the court with evidence to support each side of the case. With legal guidance to help you defend your move for a new and better position, your recommendations for a revised visitation schedule and your assurances as to the best interests of your son, the court should ultimately issue an opinion in your favor.

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