Minnesota Divorce Law and the Ability to Move Out of State


The Rights of Divorced Parents When One Parent Wants to Move Out of State

We live in a very mobile society. People often move from one state to another because of work, to find a better job, for a new relationship, or to relocate closer to extended family. This article is about what happens to parenting-time plans and custody agreements when one parent wants to move out of state. If you anticipate that you or your spouse may want to move out of state after your divorce is finalized, an attorney can help you prepare a strategy so that your divorce decree anticipates this potential reality. Understanding the law is important to protect your interests in moving or to protect your interests in keeping your children in close proximity to where you live. Let’s look at a couple of common examples.

Example #1 - Jane and John are divorced. Jane has sole physical custody of their two children and John has parenting time every Wednesday overnight and every other weekend. Jane received a promotion at work, but the promotion requires her to move from Minnesota to California. John does not want Jane to move because that will reduce his parenting time with the children. Minnesota law requires that when parents cannot agree to allow the custodial parent (Jane) to move, the Court must look at the following best interest factors to make the decision:

(1) The child's relationship with the parents and others;

(2) The child's development and needs;

(3) The feasibility of preserving the child's relationship with the non-relocating parent;

(4) The child's preference;

(5) Whether there is a pattern by the relocating parent to promote or thwart the child's relationship with the other parent;

(6) Whether relocation will enhance the child’s and the relocating parent's quality of life;

(7) Each parent's reasons for opposing or supporting relocation; and

(8) The safety and welfare of the child or relocating parent relating to domestic abuse.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Vincent P. Martin, Minneapolis Immigration Lawyer | Attorney Advertising

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