Child in car

This is the next post in our series on the handling of cases in which an Arkansas parent wishes to move their child out of state. Our last article discussed how parents should conduct themselves after a relocation trial. It is important that parents be respectful to one another and that they follow the Court’s orders. A failure to do so may result in the Judge revisiting his or her decision. In this article we will discuss another important topic – how parents can defend against a move away request. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

It is understandable that many parents feel that there is “nothing they can do” when their ex announces an intention to move with the child. The truth of the matter, however, is that a parent will have options when oppoing a relocation request. This is due to the fact that a Court’s sole concern will be to ensure that the child’s best interests are protected. This, in other words, means that a Judge will not be concerned as to whether the parent wants to move. The request will only be granted if the child benefits. This means, conversely, that a parent can defeat a relocation request by showing that such a move would not benefit the child. There are several factors which can result in the Court finding that the move would not be in the child’s best interests.

One who is opposing a relocation request must attempt to show that the child is better off in Arkansas. The Court will look to several factors when making this determination. First, if it is shown that the child would not receive better educational opportunities in another state, then the Court will be more hesitant to allow a move. When comparing educational systems, a Judge will not compare one state’s broader education system to that of Arkansas’ as a whole. Instead, the Court will likely compare the school which the child is currently attending against the school which they are likely to attend. Second, if it is shown that the parent is moving for reasons that benefit them, and not the child, then the Court will likely oppose the move. If, for example, a parent has a steady job in Arkansas and is simply making a lateral move to another state, then this would weigh against the request. Finally, if the opposing parent has other children then the need to maintain a relationship between siblings would be a factor which the Court would heavily consider.These are just a few examples of issues which a parent could raise in opposition to an attempt to move their child out of state.

If you or a family member are facing a situation in which the other parent is trying to move out of state, then contact our Little Rock child relocation lawyers today. Our attorneys understand that you are facing a stressful situation and we are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of Arkansas.