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How is an out-of-state move handled under a parenting plan?

When parents are ending their marriage a certain amount of upheaval is inevitable for the child. The amount hinges on various factors including how well the parents can coordinate custody and parenting time; if their relationship is good enough that they can focus on the child’s needs; the living arrangements; and when the child will be with which parent.

A complicated situation is if a custodial parent wants to leave the state with the child. Parents will likely have passionate justifications as to why they want to move or to prevent it. It is important that they are aware of how the court will deal with these cases.

The child’s best interests are paramount

As the judge decides whether to allow the parent to move out of Alaska with the child, the child’s best interests are the primary consideration. As with the custody determination itself, this includes the child having a safe place to live, being adequately provided for, getting the necessary education, having health care and being in a stable environment.

The court also looks at the positives and negatives of such a move. If the child and the noncustodial parent object to the move, the court must also consider this.

In some cases, a parent is moving away just to deny the other parent their time with the child and there are few other justifiable reasons for it. On the other hand, if the parent is moving to be closer to their immediate family, for an education, a better job opportunity or to suit the child’s specific needs, then the court might approve it.

Once it is determined that the move is being done for legitimate reasons, the judge will then consider the child’s best interests and consequences if the parent moves away with the child or moves away and leaves the child behind. The key is how the decision impacts the child.

Parents need help in finding resolutions to complex family law issues

Cases in which a parent wants to move out of Alaska with a child while the other parent is opposed can be emotionally taxing. The court’s decision can have wide ramifications. Perhaps an agreement can be worked out where the child will spend extensive time with the parent who stays in Alaska in exchange for allowing the move. There could be other options available. To address these difficult family law issues, it is wise to know the options and try to find a workable solution that suits everyone.