On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in child custody on Monday, June 10, 2019.
You might view the finalizing of your divorce agreement as the end of your proceedings. In reality, however, changes in both yours and your ex-spouse’s individual circumstances could very require you to revisit your case once again. Say that you decide to move away from Wichita (either to take another job or to simply move on with your life far away from your ex-spouse). If you have or share custody of your children, you likely will want to take them with you. Yet how are you expected to handle a relocation in light of your custody agreement?
You cannot simply move away with your kids. If you do so, Section 23-3222(b) of Kansas’ Family Law Code says that you can be held in contempt of court. Rather, you must provide your ex-spouse with written notice of your intention at least 30 days prior to your move. This applies to anytime you change your child’s residence (even if it is within your current city). You must also provide your ex-spouse with such notice if you plan on taking your children out of state for more than 90 days.
Kansas family courts consider a relocation to be a significant enough change in the circumstances of your case to warrant a modification of your custody agreement. When determining if (and how) to modify your agreement, the court will weigh the following factors:
- If the move is in your children’s best interests
- The effect of the move on you and your ex-spouse
- The financial burden it might place on your ex-spouse to maintain their current custody situation
You are likely better served informing your ex-spouse of your intention to move well in advance. That will afford you time to come up with a revised custody agreement that you can submit to the court together.