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Parental relocation and divorce in Maryland

Divorce is a touchy subject for some, especially children. Sometimes children just don’t understand why their parents are divorcing. They might blame one parent over the other or they might even blame themselves. The fact of the matter is that divorce affects each child differently. A divorced couple in Maryland should know how parental relocation affects the child.

Parental relocation occurs when one parent attempts to move themselves and the children away from the other parent. This is a common cause of conflict between divorced couples that sometimes spills over into parenting and child custody battles.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, parental relocation can have negative, lasting effects on on children. Those negative effects can include:

— Dropping out of school

— Lower grades

— Increased sexual activity rate as a teen

— Behavior changes

— Personality changes

— Lower social skills

— An increased rate of teen smoking

— An increased rate of incarceration

— An increased likelihood of experimenting with drugs

— A stronger chance of being divorced as adults

If a family is being forced into parental relocation for work or a family issue, the Court can take this into consideration and rule in favor of the parent seeking relocation. Courts are supposed to rule in the best interest of the child. If a child has resided in the same place for an extended period of time, it makes it difficult for the relocating parent to win his or her fight because the Court tends to favor stability for the child.

If it can be shown that relocating the child will actually improve the child’s life, the Court will be more inclined to side with relocation. The relocating parent will need to provide evidence to the Court that the child’s life will remain the same or improve based on schools, activities, neighborhood and other factors in the new location.

Contact our firm and one of our experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyers in Bethesda, Maryland can provide more information on parental relocation.

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