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In June 2014, Addicus Publishing released the book “Divorce in Washington”, which was authored exclusively by David Crouse.view all
Yes, but if you have children and they live with you most of the time, you will have to provide your former spouse with notice that you intend to move, and may be required to allow them an opportunity to object. How much notice you must give your former spouse, and whether a court may prevent you from moving with your children, will depend on whether your new address is inside or outside the school district you currently live in.
If your new home is in the same school district, the process is fairly simple. All that is required is that your former spouse, or anyone else with whom your children spend residential time or who has visitation rights, be given actual notice by any reasonable means. No formal process is necessary, and you don’t need to file anything with the court. As long as your former spouse knows your new address, that will be sufficient. Do note that they do need actual notice, meaning the information has to be received, not just sent. If you mailed a letter to your spouse and they never received it, for example, you wouldn’t have given them notice. Other than this, there are no further requirements. Your spouse may not object to relocation within the school district.
If you plan to move outside of your current school district, things get slightly more technical. At least sixty days before you and your children move, you will need to give formal notice of relocation to your former spouse. This must include your new street address and mailing address, new home phone number, the names and addresses of the children’s new schools and daycare facilities, the date when you plan to move. If you are moving far enough away that you will need to change the children’s residential schedule (the plan for how they split time between each of their parents), you must also include your proposed new schedule. It will also include language that lets your spouse know they are entitled to object to the relocation, the new schedule, or both.
Even if one parent does object either to the move or the new residential schedule, the court is unlikely to block the relocation. The parent that the children live with the majority of the time will be asked to explain why he or she wants to move. The objecting parent will then be asked to show that some aspect of the change is so detrimental to the children that it outweighs any benefit to the children and any benefit to the parent who wants to move. Of course, the parent choosing to move probably wants to do so precisely because there is some benefit to them, like a new job or other opportunities. This gives the objector a particularly high bar to clear, and therefore he or she is unlikely to prevent relocation absent some truly unique circumstances.