The Law Office Of Michael A. Troy PLLC


Maryland and Washington, D.C. Firm Handles Child Relocation Issues

Beltway-area attorney works on cases where a custodial parent seeks to move

Custody orders that are issued in divorces and other situations must be followed to the letter. However, various circumstances can arise that compel a custodial parent to relocate with the child they share with their former partner. An out-of-state move or even a distant in-state relocation could make it difficult for the noncustodial parent to spend time with their son or daughter as set forth in the custody order. The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC provides comprehensive counsel to Maryland and Washington, D.C. parents on relocation issues. Whether you intend to move to a new home or are opposing a relocation, our firm will outline the pertinent laws and advocate for the result you seek.

Requirements for relocation

Maryland law requires a custodial parent to notify their co-parent by registered mail at least 90 days before moving with the child they share. Usually, noncustodial parents will consent to relocations within the same general area, as they should not affect their ability to spend time with their son or daughter. A parent who refuses to consent has 20 days from receipt of the notice to petition the court for a hearing to decide if the existing parenting plan will be revised to allow for the move.

Factors used in decisions relating to relocation

Like other child custody matters, courts examine relocation petitions based on whether the proposed move is in the young person’s best interests. Parents might have significant reasons for requesting a relocation, such as a job change, family medical crisis or new relationship. However, the judge will look at how a new home will affect the child or children involved. Specific factors that are often considered include:

  • The fitness of each parent and their ability to care for the child
  • The child’s physical and emotional well-being
  • The reason for the proposed relocation
  • The environment in each home
  • Whether the move will restrict the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights
  • Any history of domestic violence by either parent
  • The child’s wishes, if they are mature enough to make a thoughtful decision

As an experienced family lawyer serving Maryland and Washington, D.C., Michael A. Troy understands how to build a strong argument for parents looking to relocate as well as those who have sound reasons for objecting to a move.   

Revisions to custody and visitation orders

After hearing from both sides, the judge can allow the relocation as requested or refuse to let the custodial parent move with their child. If the move is allowed, there might be adjustments to the visitation terms that reflect the new circumstances. For example, school night visitations might be stopped if the two parents live too far from each other to make that practical. Conversely, vacation visits with the noncustodial parent could be lengthened to replace the time that was missed. Often, it is in everyone’s interest to negotiate revisions that everyone can live with rather than leaving the decision to the judge. Our firm works closely with clients to reach a settlement that maintains strong parent-child bonds.

Contact a Maryland and Washington, D.C. family law attorney for a free consultation about a relocation issue

The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC assists parents with relocation requests and other child custody issues. From our office in Greenbelt, we serve clients in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Please call 202-864-2296 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.