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In Hawaii, Custodial Parents May Not Move Without Approval If It Affects An Ex’s Visitation Rights

Sharing custody of children can be challenging enough when both parents live on the same island. When a custodial parent wishes to move, it can have a profound effect on the children and their relationship with the other parent.

In Hawaii, a parent with primary physical custody of children needs approval from the other parent or the court before he or she can move the children off the island. If the other parent is opposed to the move, the relocating parent would need to prove that the move is in the best interests of the children.

The attorneys at Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson represent parents who want to move away with children. We also represent parents who oppose an ex’s relocation request. From our office in Honolulu, our lawyers serve clients on all islands of Hawaii, including Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and the Big Island.

Why Do Custodial Parents Need Permission To Move With The Children?

If a parent receives visitation rights as part of a divorce agreement, the parent with primary custody cannot deprive the other parent of those rights. The state of Hawaii believes that time with both parents — except in special cases — is beneficial for children.

To remove children from Hawaii, the relocating parent will have to prove that the move is in the best interests of the children. For example, the relocating spouse may need to move for employment to be closer to family support. A judge is not going to allow the custodial parent to move just because he or she has a good reason.

Modifying Visitation After A Move

If a primary spouse moves, the parents will need to draft a new custody and visitation order. There are a lot of options when it comes to long-distance visitation that can ensure that both parents receive quality time with children. For example, you may request fewer but longer visits. Virtual visitation via video calling may also be a part of your visitation order.

For More Information About Relocation

If you need more information about child custody and relocations, the attorneys at Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson are here for you. We understand that this is a sensitive topic and will do our very best to provide the information you need in a timely manner. Call us at 808-524-4854 or complete our contact form.