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  • Tom Dominick

You have custody. Your new spouse is moving out of state. Can you take the children?

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

Many people know that custody determinations depend upon a judge's determination of the child's best interests. In other words, is it in the best interests of the child that he or she reside primarily with mom or dad?

In making that determination the judge will consider several factors identified in Idaho Code section 32-717 (wishes of parents, wishes of child, interrelationships of parents and child, character, domestic violence, stability, adjustments to environment, etc).

What many do not know is that in relocation cases the parent moving must prove that moving with the child is in the child's best interests. In other words, why is it best that a child move with the parent? Or, should the child stay in the same city?

The court cannot tell a parent they can't move. However, the child can be taken away from a parent who relocates.

People have called Idaho the "quicksand state" meaning that once a child is here, they can never leave. However, there is no presumption against moving.

Parents facing this dilemma, with a new spouse taking a job in another state, may be caught between a rock and a hard place of moving with the spouse but losing the children.

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