Divorce changes a lot of things, most of the time for the better. Ending an unhappy marriage can give a person the opportunity to explore new things, like different career paths and even places outside of Ohio. But compared with someone who does not have kids, a divorced parent might have trouble fully exploring these options because of his or her child custody agreement.
A custody agreement should always protect the best interests of a child and typically results in a formal court order that incorporates the terms of the agreement. For the most part, this includes living within a reasonable distance of both parents. There are certainly exceptions to this, though. For example, a custodial parent could argue that moving back to his or her hometown to live near family would be best for the child. Or that parent could have secured a higher paying job in a different state.
There usually is not a problem if the noncustodial parent consents to the move. But this is generally not the case. In this situation, the custodial parent who wants to move will have to demonstrate that he or she is making this decision in good faith. This means that there has to be a very good reason for moving a child away from his or her other parent and community. Other than moving closer to family or getting a new job, relocating to an area with a lower cost of living could also be a good faith reason.
A parent cannot relocate outside of Ohio just to retaliate against an ex-spouse. This shifts the focus of a child custody agreement off the child’s well-being and places it instead on the parent’s wants. However, this is usually not the case, and custodial parents need to move with their children for all kinds of different reasons. The most important thing is to show how the relocation will best benefit the child, even when it means moving away from one parent.