Contact a lawyer now

Relocation Law: What to Do When One Parent Wants to Move?

Relocation Law What to Do When One Parent Wants to Move

Desiring to change residence is legitimate for any father or mother. Although it is also legal for both to have an opinion, which is so essential for family life. This situation can occur when there are still no judicial measures, or, if these exist, that parent decides to skip the legal procedures for such purposes.

This is one of the reasons why we always recommend having relocation law approved legally. It is the only way to be able to demand compliance. It will also help to have the appropriate tools to stop situations of abuse by the other parent.

Relocation Law: When Is It Necessary?

If one of the parents wants to move to another city for personal interests or, even, by force majeure, job opportunity, or need, they must necessarily seek the other’s authorization. Even when they exercise custody of the minor exclusively, the implementation of relocation law is essential.

If the non-custodial parent refuses to do so, this is also an understandable answer. Because relations with their children will inevitably vary, whoever wishes to make this change must request judicial authorization from the competent Court.

But the reality is that we find some parents who use their custodial status to carry these transfers behind the other’s back, or without their approval.

On the other hand, it is necessary to clarify that if the change of residence is within the same city. We understand that it would not be essential to consent to the other unless it has been expressly agreed in the regulatory agreement for a better operation of the custody model. In this case, a letter communicating this situation to the other parent would suffice, providing the new address where they will reside.

What Kinds of Relocation Laws Are There?

When parents can’t decide, the Court decided what to do, mostly depending on the best interest of the child. The relocation laws vary from state to state.

  • Some states allow the child relocation only if both the parties of the case mutually agree. Otherwise, the child must remain in the same country.
  • Some states allow the custodial parent to issue a notice before the move. If it is a limited timed movement (30,60, 90 days), they can notify the non-custodial parent for consent.
  • The most popular relocation law would be the relocation based on distance. Usually, if the new location is not 100 miles, the Court will deny the relocation.

Do I Need Authorization from The Father or Mother of My Children to Travel Abroad with Them During the Holidays?

In principle, the father or mother whose turn it is to be with the child during the holidays may travel accompanied by him to any place. The relocation law doesn’t forbid to do so. The parent can go without the need to request the consent of the other parent.

The destination chosen for the holidays, either within the US or abroad, is not a decision included within the scope of parental authority. It is part of the ordinary decision-making power that parents have to choose leisure plans for children when they are in their company. Therefore, there is no obligation to request the authorization of the other parent.


Despite this, it should be borne in mind that the agents who carry out border controls at customs and airports have the authority to inspect travel documents and supporting documents. When the minor travel is accompanied by one of their parents, they may request that the other parent present the express authorization.

Besides, when the trip abroad involves an exit from the territory, it will be essential that the minor child has a passport. If the child does not have a passport, the express consent of both parents is compulsory for it to be issued. This makes it practically impossible for the child to travel to another country without the permission of both parents.

That said, even in the cases where it is not compulsory to ask for authorization, it is convenient for the children’s benefit. It proves that there is excellent communication between the parents and that the parent who will not be with the children during that period can know where they will be.

Relocation Laws: Documentation to Travel with Minors Abroad

The documents necessary to travel accompanied by minor children outside of the country are the following:

  • National Identity Document
  • Passport
  • Express authorization of the other parent
  • It is also convenient for the minor to travel with their health card.

Relocation Laws: Special Cases in Which Authorization Is Required

There is a prohibition on leaving the minor’s national territory:

An express prohibition on leaving the national region may have been established without the consent of both parents or judicial authorization. In this case, as is evident, to travel with your children abroad, you must previously communicate it to the other parent so that they give their consent.

If the other parent refuses to consent to departure, you can ask for judicial authorization. For the petition to the Court to prosper, you must present-

  • The travel plans
  • Round trip tickets that include the return dates
  • The rest of the trip itinerary
  • Place of accommodation, if other “intermediate” trips are planned

if the trip is made out of the US, the child will need to have a passport. The passport can only be issued if the ban on leaving the national territory is judicially lifted.

There is a risk of non-return of minors

In cases where the parent intends to take the child with her and not return, urgent measures may be requested. It would be best if you made the judge agree to the removal of the child’s passport and adopts the prohibition on leaving the country. For this petition to be successful, we advise you to give your lawyer all the evidence you have in your possession.

Travel involves staying in dangerous or risky destinations

When one of the parents intends to travel with the minors to a place considered a dangerous or risky destination, the other may oppose and request before the Court.  We want to clarify that this measure is exceptional and will only be agreed upon by the courts when there is a real risk for the children.

What Will Happen If the Parent Tries to Travel Without the Other’s Consent or Judicial Authorization When There is an Exit Ban?

Whenever there is a sentence or any other legal provision that determines the prohibition of the minor’s departure from the national territory, airport, and customs controls are informed of the ban. Therefore, if the parent tries to take the child abroad without the other’s written consent or judicial authorization, they will prohibit him from leaving customs.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, we have answered all the questions you have in mind about relocation law. But we would like to recommend to consult with an expert to get a detailed view.