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State Relocation and Custody Cases: Anything but Simple, Everything but Trivial

Originally published in Louisville Bar Briefs in July, 2013.

“Whether it’s due in part to fathers becoming more aware of their rights, as Family Court Judge Paula Sherlock believes, or just the increased mobility of humanity in the 21st century, relocation and custody cases between parents in different states are on the rise here in Louisville. The best way to ensure effective representation in cases with a parent on the move is to “do your homework on the front end,” said family court lawyer John Helmers— a sentiment echoed by Judge Sherlock.

“First, don’t relocate with a child without consent of the other parent or court order. Homework on the front end can prevent problems on the back end,” Judge Sherlock said. “My personal pet peeve is a parent who unilaterally picks up and moves with a child without any request.”

In determining the outcome of such a case, Judge Sherlock weighs in on three important factors: whether the move is arbitrary, whether the intent is to alienate the other parent, and the resources of the parties’. And while relocation cases where “resources” are minimal happen time and again, the cost of litigating relocation and custody jurisdiction cases is anything but cheap. “It increases costs exponentially,” Helmers said.

To avoid a tumble down the rabbit hole, a regular review of state and federal rules that govern jurisdiction for divorce and custody, as well as local relocation rules, is advisable….”Read the full article as a pdf here: State Relocation – Louisville Bar Briefs article