If you are a divorced parent in Arkansas, you are required to follow the custody orders that were set forth by the judge when you got divorced. If you have physical custody (meaning the child lives with you) and your co-parent has legal custody (the ability to make decisions on the child’s behalf) or shares joint physical custody with you, you may have questions about whether or not it is possible to relocate out of state with your child. In today’s blog post, we’re looking at how Arkansas handles child custody and relocation. 

Whether it’s for a new job, a new relationship, or just a fresh start, you will need to get court permission to relocate out of state with your child. The judge will then try to determine whether or not allowing the relocation would be in the best interest of the child. They’ll look at factors including:

  • The opportunities available to your child in the new place (including educational, health-related, social, and other types of opportunities)
  • Your reasons for relocating (For instance, if it’s for a job, will you be earning a higher income and therefore able to afford a higher quality of life for your children)
  • How relocating will impact the child’s relationships with friends and family
  • The child’s opinion/preference (if they are old enough to express it)

In general, the state of Arkansas tends to allow custodial parents to relocate unless there is a strong and clear reason it would be problematic for the child or the other parent rebuts the request. If you are a noncustodial parent or share joint custody, you will need to work with an attorney to express to the court why you don’t think relocating would be in the child’s best interest. 

Many parents also ask whether or not relocation is considered a significant enough change in circumstances to warrant a modification of custody orders. Generally in Arkansas, it is not considered significant enough. 

Who can help me propose relocation in an Arkansas family court?

If you are an Arkansas parent and want to seek a fresh start or a new opportunity in another state, The OMG Law Firm is here to help. We have the knowledge and experience to provide the guidance and support you need when facing this and other family law matters. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about how our firm can help you.