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Divorce often has a severe impact on the living situation of your children, especially if your ex-spouse gained custody, but what can you do when he or she announces a move out of state? Time reports that one in five children will see their parents divorce by age nine and in some cases are moved out of their home state once the divorce is final.

If your ex-spouse plans to relocate with your children and you have visitation or other custodial rights, there are a few ways you can contest this decision.

Return to court

Legally protesting your ex-spouse’s relocation is usually the most effective way to make your feelings known. You can ask your attorney to help you draft a letter and arrange for a hearing, where a judge decides whether the move is necessary and in the best interests of your children. The judge may allow the move based on several different factors, including:

  • An employment opportunity for your ex
  • A relocation near extended family for emotional and financial support
  • Improved quality of life for the children

If you believe uprooting your children will damage their emotional health, you may want to ask your attorney about how to prove this in court as a means to prevent the move.

Prove ulterior motives

If you believe your ex wants to move out of state to prevent you from seeing your children, you may have to offer proof of this to the judge. Text messages or witness accounts from those who have heard your ex’s plans to keep you out of your children’s lives might help you accomplish this.

Divorce rates in the United States are on a decline. However, divorcing parents may want to realize the courts will likely act on what is best for the children involved.