For many parents, the single most concerning aspect of divorce is what will happen to the children. Fortunately, the law aims to ensure that both parents have custody rights.

In some child custody cases, both parents must live within a court-ordered distance. One parent cannot relocate with the child unless the other parent approves the move, or the judge determines that relocation is in the child’s best interest.

There is a possibility that one parent will receive sole custody. In which case, the custodial parent may be able to relocate with the child. Yet, the other parent almost always has visitation rights. Rarely, one parent will have sole custody, and the other parent won’t have visitation rights or access to their children.

Circumstances in which a parent may lose custody rights

Parents often fear that they will lose custody of their child. Although it is rare for the court to deny one parent’s custody and visitation rights, there are circumstances in which it may happen.

  • The parent has not previously visited the child.
  • The parent chose not to be in contact with the child.
  • The parent did not honor the court-ordered custody arrangement.
  • The parent has a history of drug use.
  • The parent’s parental rights were terminated.
  • There is evidence of domestic violence.

Even if the non-custodial parent was denied visitation rights, they might be able to see their child through a supervised visitation or a virtual visitation. In most cases, one parent cannot relocate with the child unless the court approves it.

Parents can seek custody modification if the custody arrangement does not work, or there have been circumstantial changes that require a re-evaluation. It is wise for parents to work with a legal expert to ensure they are following the law and doing what is best for their child.