Reviewing the Issue of Parental Relocation

Given Hawaii’s reputation as a tropical paradise, many might question why you would ever want to move away. Yet as many of those that we here at Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLC have worked with, the memories connected to a divorce can quickly turn a perceived paradise into a bleak scenario. You may rightly think that moving away will help both you, your ex-spouse and your children move on from your divorce. Yet that can be complicated when the matter of custody comes up. 

Moving to another island may still allow your ex-spouse to maintain consistent contact with your kids. Relocating to another state, however, may make it next to impossible for you both to fulfill your current custody arrangement. Once you have expressed a desire to relocate, the court will review your reasons for doing so. These will be weighed against the best interests of your children. Reasons that can support your decision to relocate may be: 

  • Getting your children away from any physical or emotional abuse they may be suffering at the hands of your ex-spouse
  • Moving to an area that affords them better educational opportunities 
  • Being closer to members of your extended family 

You wanting to move away to further your own career pursuits or simply to get away from your ex-spouse may prompt the court to change the terms of your agreement. Your chances of securing a favorable outcome in such a scenario can be improved if you and your ex-spouse can come up with a revised agreement on your own. Section 571-46(16)(B) of Hawaii’s state statutes also states that the court will consider the availability of communication via electronic media in such scenarios. 

More information on managing your custody arrangement can be found throughout our site. 

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