Parental relocation is often a contentious issue for parents who share custody. If your former spouse wants to leave Ohio and settle elsewhere with your child, the distance could severely impact your relationship with your child.

Learn more about how Ohio courts resolve disagreements about out-of-state parental relocation.

Notification requirements

If a parent plans to relocate with the children, he or she must file the state’s notice of intent to relocate form. This is a requirement even when the parent has sole legal or physical custody. The court will send you a copy of this notice in the mail, and you will be able to respond through the legal system.

Countering a request to relocate

You can file a motion objecting to the proposed move as well as a motion asking for a child custody modification so you have full or partial residential custody. Without physical custody, the court may determine that the other parent is making the decision to move based on the child’s best interest.

Factors in the court decision

The court will schedule a hearing at which both parents can provide evidence supporting their case. The parent requesting the move must prove that relocating will benefit the child. Some contributing factors the judge considers include the following:

  • Whether the parent relocating will foster a continued connection with the other parent and how he or she plans to do so
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence, substance abuse or criminal activity
  • The relationship the child currently has with each parent
  • The child’s ties to his or her current community
  • The distance of the move
  • The purpose of the move and how it will specifically improve the child’s quality of life, such as better work opportunities for the parent or better public schools
  • The current parenting plan and custody arrangement

If you do not want your spouse to move away from Ohio with your children, exercise your legal rights. If he or she moves without court approval, the court can order a return to Ohio.