While a divorce can indeed bring with it a sense of finality, it does not necessarily signal the end of the feelings that a couple may feel towards each other; rather, those the nature of those emotions is what changes. Many may find these emotions too difficult to deal with while they are still in close proximity to their ex-spouses, and thus may want to try to move away from Annapolis in an attempt to move on with their lives. Indeed, according to Move.org, a change in marital status ranks among the top 10 reasons why people relocate. Yet moving away can be difficult when a divorced couple has children together.
A parent who has custody of their kids cannot simply move away without giving both the court and their ex-spouse notice. Section 9-106 of Maryland’s Family Law Code states that notice must be given 90 days prior to the intended relocation. In cases where a custodial parent cannot wait the requisite 90 days, the court will consider the factors contributing to their urgency. If financial or other extenuating circumstances require a hasty relocation, and the parent has provided notice within a reasonable time after learning of the need to relocate, then the court may waive that 90-day requirement. In cases were there is concern that notifying the other parent may subject the relocating parent and/or the children to abuse, the court may not require notice at all.
The non-relocating parent can file a petition with the court in opposition to their ex-spouse moving away with the kids. In such an event, the court may not require that the relocating parent abandon their plans to move, but may instead modify the couple’s custody agreement to ensure that the non-relocating parent still has frequent access to the children.