Bridging the gap
for changing families

How Do Courts Decide on Relocation (Removal) Disputes?

Latest News

A Perspective on Relocation Disputes (aka “Removal”)

Relocation or Removal Disputes typically arise when a custodial parent requests permission from the court to move with a minor child or children. This is most commonly due to a job transfer, remarriage, or other significant life change. These disputes can be complex and emotionally charged, as they involve determining the child(ren)’s best interests and balancing the rights of both parents. The non-custodial parent may object to the relocation, citing concerns about the impact on their relationship with the child, logistical challenges to exercise parenting time, or the child’s stability. Before deciding whether a move with a child is allowed, the court must consider all factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, the reason for the move, and the potential impact on the child’s well-being.

In these cases, both parents need to seek experienced legal counsel to navigate the complexities of custody disputes. GordenLaw LLC can help parents understand their rights and responsibilities and work towards finding a solution that prioritizes the child’s best interests while protecting each parent’s rights. Communication and cooperation between the parents are crucial in these situations to develop a healthy parenting plan and a strong relationship between child(ren) and parent.

What Does the Court Consider in Relocation Disputes?

There are many different reasons the court might consider a relocation case.

  • Most often, there is a dispute about removal between two divorced parents or parents where custody has been established previously, wherein a custodial parent wants to move across state lines. A modification to an existing parenting plan is requested. The hardest part of these cases is that geographical distance, by its very nature, has an impact upon the involvement of the parent who remains behind if a move is allowed.
  • A dispute over relocation comes up between two divorcing parents or parents involved in establishing custody where one parent wants to move out of state, but final custody of the minor child(ren) has not yet been determined
  • Sometimes parents do agree to a move for a child or children, but cannot agree on the logistics of travel or support for the parents.
  • Note that for military parents on active duty deployment short-term, there are special Nebraska laws that apply.

What Are Some Factors of Relocation Disputes?

Many factors are considered by the courts, and each family and case is different. GordenLaw LLC will partner with you to ensure you are not alone on this path. We will help you understand which road to take. 

The Court typically requires a parent wishing to move with their child out of Nebraska to pass a two-part test.  

  1. There must be a legitimate reason for the move. “Because I want to.” “I hate this house/apartment” “I want to move away from the other parent or my former in-laws” etc. are not good enough reasons.  A common legitimate reason is that the requesting parent found a better-paying job that wouldn’t be available to them in Nebraska.
  2. In addition to the general custody considerations in Nebraska, the court will use case factors from a case referred to as “Farnsworth” to determine whether factors weigh for or against allowing the child to move. There are 9 of these factors, including factors related to the child(ren)’s quality of life in Nebraska versus the proposed new location, such as: 

a. Child(ren)’s emotional, physical and developmental needs

b. Child’s preference to stay or move, if any

c. The enhancement of custodial parent’s income or employment by the move

d. The comparative housing

e. Educational advantages

f. Relationship between child and each parent

g. Child’s other ties to current community, such as extended family and friends

h. Expected effect of the move on co-parenting relationship

i. Etc.


Related Articles