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How relocation affects children

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2018 | Divorce

Parents in Wisconsin who have gone through a divorce and have agreed on a child custody situation may think it is all settled. However, things change when one parent wants to relocate out of state. Not only may the custody agreement change, but the parents should also consider how the move could affect the child long term.

According to the Wisconsin State Legislature, the parent who is relocating must provide a written notice to the other parent at least 60 days before the move would potentially take place. That parent can then either give consent for the move or object. The parent who is relocating may not move with the child until final order of the court is received.

Even in cases where the other parent approves of the relocation, consideration should be made in regard to consequences the move may have on the child. Psychology Today says that, at minimum, relocation should be put off until the child is at least three years old. At that age, children are better equipped for long-distance relationships because they have begun to develop the proper language and cognitive skills.

Even when kids are older, living apart from one parent for periods of time can take a toll over time. Studies have shown that children who have been separated from a parent by over an hour’s travel time have more hostility, worse physical health, are more distressed and are less satisfied with life in general. Because of this, the state of Wisconsin discourages relocation by requiring the moving parent to prove that prohibiting the relocation would not be in the child’s best interest.