Many divorcing couples in Providence may believe that the end of their formal divorce proceedings also marks the end of their association. Yet that is rarely the case (particularly if they have children together). They must continue to coordinate their efforts in raising the kids the meet the court-mandated standard of serving the children’s best interest.

Yet their lives will also inevitably go on. With this progression may come the opportunity for one of the parents to relocate (indeed, such a possibility is likely a probability, given that the website Moving.com reports that over 10% of the American population relocates every year). The question then becomes how might the court handle a situation where a divorced parent wants to relocate with their kids?

Establishing legal precedent

Rhode Island does not have a defined statute dictating a legal standard for the handling of a parental relocation case. Thus state courts rely on local rulings to determine how to handle such cases. Recent high court rulings have recognized that many states that do have relocation laws have begun to amend them to make relocating easier for those parents who wish to do so. This has lead the state Supreme Court to state that when a parent has a legitimate reason to relocate (and the relocation appears to be in line with the best interests of the children involved) that there should be no additional burden upon them to prove that their reasons for moving are also compelling.

Working together in advance of a relocation

This does not mean that a proposed relocation will not result in legal contention, however. One wishing to move may be able to avoid that to some degree by working with their ex-spouse well in advance of a move to come up with their own modified custody arrangement.