When a person goes through a divorce, that person is likely looking for a clean split from their spouse – the ability to go and do whatever they want, without having to give the other party so much as a thought. If the parties have children together, however, this is not possible, particularly if both parties want to be very involved in the lives of their children and see them often. Many times divorced parents live in the same city and coordinating visitation and other activities with an ex is not too difficult. For those who live in different cities, or even in different parts of the same city (ex: Cumming vs. College Park), things can be a little more complicated as traveling for visitation must be part of the routine. Therefore, it is important that parents keep each other informed of any intent to move, whether within the same city or to a new city.
Depending on the location of the move, it may necessitate a new visitation schedule. For example, if parents currently live 5 miles from each other but one intends to move to a new city, it will no longer be appropriate for the children to have weeknight visitation. Visitation every other weekend may not work either, especially if air travel and its associated costs and schedules must be taken into consideration.
For this reason, it is prudent to have a clause about a parent’s change of residence in a divorce settlement agreement. The clause should state that any parent changing his or her residence must notify the other parent in writing at least 60 days in advance of the move, if possible, and should also provide the parent with the address and phone number at the new residence. This notice will provide the parties time to file a Petition for Modification of Custody and Visitation, if necessary, so that they can have a plan that will work with the upcoming changes.