These are very difficult cases and the outcome will depend on the facts of each case.
If the other parent disputes the proposed relocation of the children, the relocating parent must show that the proposed relocation is for a “legitimate purpose.” A “legitimate purpose” is one that cannot be accomplished if the relocating parent remains in New Hampshire. Only if the relocating parent demonstrates that a legitimate purpose exists, then the opposing parent must demonstrate why it is not in the children’s best interest to relocate. Some of the factors that the Court will consider in determining whether the proposed relocation is in the children’s best interest include:
• The prospective advantages of the move;
• Whether the relocation is motivated by the desire to frustrate the other parent’s parenting rights;
• Whether the relocating parent will comply with new parenting orders;
• Whether there is a realistic opportunity for parenting time which will preserve the other parent’s relationship with the child;
• The negative impact from continued hostility between the parents; and
• The effect that the move may have on any extended family relationships.
Unfortunately, relocation cases are not good candidates for mediation because one parent must either agree to give up the desire to relocate with the children or the other parent must allow the children to move. Under the circumstances, there is not much “middle ground”. As a result, these cases are oftentimes litigated and can take quite a long time to come to final resolution.
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