In Oregon, most parenting plans have a restriction on changing the child’s residence. Typically, the restriction recites Oregon law, which is that neither party may move their residence more than sixty miles further distance from the other parenting without giving the other parent reasonable notice of the change of residence and providing a copy of such notice to the court. It is possible to negotiate a different requirement so you always want to review your parenting plan for the specific details. If you receive notice that your ex is going to move, then you must file a Motion with the court to ask the court to prohibit the move. If you do nothing, then your ex will be allowed to move. If your ex does move a fair distance away, then it is likely that you will need a modification to your parenting plan to account for the geographic difference.
If you have sole legal custody, that doesn’t mean that you will be allowed to move with your child. If you ex agrees, then there is no problem with you moving, but if you give the proper notice and they file to stop you, then the judge will have to decide if it’s in the children’s best interest to move. If the spouse that isn’t moving has a positive and ongoing relationship with the children, this may be an uphill battle.
What If we have joint legal Custody?
Unfortunately, the situation is more complicated than who has custody and a joint custodial arrangement doesn’t necessary help if someone wants to move. The judge must decide whether it’s in the children’s best interest, regardless of the custodial arrangement. If you receive notice your ex spouse wants to move, it’s critical that you retain a child custody lawyer and immediately file paperwork for a hearing. If there’s nothing in the divorce decree or custody arrangement that prohibits moving, then they can pack up and leave without repercussion.
If you do file a motion in court, it’s important to have realistic expectations. A judge may not be willing to prevent a parent with sole custody from moving. You’ll need to demonstrate why the move is harmful for the child because the Oregon court system will only be interested in the child’s best interest – not yours.
It should also be noted that if you’re on speaking terms with you ex, then you may want to discuss your concerns regarding the move with them. Sometimes, hiring a therapist or mediator can help both parents find another solution.