Move-Away Modification

Portland is a town of transplants, frequently family is scattered about the country and the globe. After the dissolution of a marriage, a move away from Oregon for a fresh start to re-establish roots, may be greatly desired by one or both parties.

The common reasons for a move-away include new job opportunities and the desire to be closer to extended family. From a child’s perspective a move-away may be both fun and terrifying. It may be in a child’s best interest to have the presence of extended family, that bond can heal the pain of going through a divorce. Conversely, a relocation, having to start over and find new friends or becoming distant from one parent, may be too much change for a young person, already adjusting to change, to handle.

Perhaps the most difficult process in Family Law is the modification of a judgment in order to relocate. It is very important to first gage the impact this will have on your children. In all lifestyle changes, whether a divorce or a move-away, it is important to always put the needs of your children above your own. Given the difficulty of obtaining a relocation modification, there are very specific and nuanced steps that are needed that vary from case to case. If possible, thoughtful negotiations can be very beneficial to achieving a desired outcome. As with all cases, it’s better to achieve a mutually desired parenting plan than to have the decision made unilaterally by a judge.

The court gives more weight to the best interests of the children than to the desires of the parent. Judges will consider several factors before making a final determination on whether to allow a move-away. Among those considerations are the benefits and burdens on the children. Among the greatest considerations is the desire to maintain a relationship with the long distance parent. Given the delicate nature of relocation modifications it is best to consult with an attorney first before speaking with the other parent. There is much more to the process of the relocation modification than is apparent by reading the statute.

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