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What happens if the custodial parent relocates?

In life, there are many reasons why you may need to move. A work promotion, new job, new duties, health restrictions or simply a desire to live somewhere else are all possible reasons for you to change residences. While many people only have to worry about selling their home and finding a new place when they moved, divorced couples often have additional concerns that can complicate the moving process. The Iowa State Legislature details what you need to know if you are the custodial parent and are planning to relocate.


You need to be aware that it is possible to modify your custody arrangement, but only if your circumstances meet the required qualifications. One restriction is that you must be making a major move to have the court consider your case. A move down the street or even to another town will not be enough of a distance. Iowa courts require that the custodial parent be moving at least 150 miles away from where the minor child lived when custody was initially awarded.


Next, you need to be aware that the court will make every attempt to preserve the same relationship that both parents currently have. Whatever level of visitation or custody your ex-spouse had should remain the same once you move. This could mean that new arrangements may need to be made, such as allowing your child to spend school breaks or summer vacations with the non-custodial parent.


If you or the other parent has interfered with custody in the past, the court may limit or alter the rights given to the interfering parent. This information is intended for your education and should not be taken as legal advice.


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