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Can I add a relocation clause in my divorce?

When going through a divorce, you may already have a vague plan of your next steps as a single parent. Perhaps you want to move back to your hometown, move out of state in order to get a fresh start or move to a new city to start a new job. Regardless of what your plan is, you may have concerns about what your former spouse might have to say about your intention to relocate along with your child. You might also have concerns about whether it is legal to relocate if the other parent still has legal custody of the child.

One potential solution to these worries pre-divorce is to look into the possibilities of adding a relocation clause into your divorce papers. This is not common practice; most often the prospect of relocation is only addressed when it becomes a reality.

If you have already divorced or you want to move locations along with your child in the very near future, it is a good idea to consider your options. The most appropriate course of action would be to bring up the issue with your former spouse and try to have some honest communication about it. If you agree mutually, the process will be very simple. You only have to send a stipulation to the relevant court.

If you cannot come to an agreement with your former spouse about your relocation plans, you will need to go to court to file a formal petition to be able to relocate. This can be a lengthy process, which is why it is important to try to maintain an amicable relationship with your former spouse.

Source: Women's divorce, "Relocation and divorce," accessed Oct. 12, 2017

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