When you share custody in Washington, both you and the other parent of your children have a say in their daily lives. You typically have to agree with one another about their education and their healthcare needs. You will both need to abide by the terms in your custody order or parenting plan, which will impose some limitations on your life choices.
For example, you cannot simply pack up and leave with the children in a shared custody scenario. What steps do you need to take to relocate with the children, which might mean moving out of Washington or a significant distance across the state?
The cooperation of the other parent
The simplest relocation requests involve an uncontested custody modification. If you and the other parent of your children agree that the move is necessary or beneficial for the children, the two of you can fill out paperwork together to request an uncontested modification to your existing parenting plan.
The approval of the courts
It is common for parents to disagree about the necessity of a move and for one parent to worry about becoming alienated from the children if they relocate. If your ex is not in agreement about the proposed relocation, then you will need to go to family court after giving the courts and the other parent notice of your intent to move.
You will present evidence related to the reasoning behind your relocation request. The other parent can also present evidence about why they opposed the relocation request. A judge will then make the decision that they believe will be in the best interests of the children.
Understanding how the courts feel about the decisions on major custody matters can help you increase your chances of success when proposing a relocation with the children.