Child Relocation is governed by statute in Washington State. Specifically, RCW 26.09.520 provides the factors the Court considers when making a determination of whether a relocation request will be granted or denied.
Those factors include (1) The relative strength, nature, quality, extent of involvement, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life; (2) Prior agreements of the parties; (3) Whether disrupting the contact between the child and the person with whom the child resides a majority of the time would be more detrimental to the child than disrupting contact between the child and the person objecting to the relocation; (4) Whether either parent or a person entitled to residential time with the child is subject to limitations under RCW 26.09.191; (5) The reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation and the good faith of each of the parties in requesting or opposing the relocation; (6) The age, developmental stage, and needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation or its prevention will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child; (7) The quality of life, resources, and opportunities available to the child and to the relocating party in the current and proposed geographic locations; (8) The availability of alternative arrangements to foster and continue the child’s relationship with and access to the other parent; (9) The alternatives to relocation and whether it is feasible and desirable for the other party to relocate also; (10) The financial impact and logistics of the relocation or its prevention; and (11) For a temporary order, the amount of time before a final decision can be made at trial.
There is also a specific procedural framework governing relocation established by the legislature which is codified in RCW 26.09.440. Generally, the relocating parent is required to provide 60 days advance notice including the reason for the intended relocation, the address and phone number of the new residence and the daycare or school where the child(ren) will be attending. There is a specific form established by the Washington Administrtor of the Courts containing all of the information necessary to be provided with the Notice. The non relocation parent then has 30 days to file an Objection/Petition for Modification of Parenting Plan with a request for a trial date.
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