Similar to many family law issues, this depends upon individual state law. Most states have statutes that specifically address the question of the custodial parent’s relocation. In many states, the custodial parent must provide a certain notice to the noncustodial parent and then the noncustodial parent has a right to object.
West Virginia’s statute provides that the custodial parent should be allowed to relocate with the child so long as that parent shows that the relocation is in good faith for a legitimate purpose and to a location that is reasonable in light of the purpose. Nevada law also provides that the custodial parent must give notice to the noncustodial parent and that failure to give proper notice can be a factor in the court’s ultimate custody determination. In many states the primary custodial parent can relocate the child only if he or she provides advance written notice of approximately two months to the other parent. The other parent can then file a petition with the court seeking to block the relocation. Many state laws then require the court to determine whether relocation is in the best interests of the child. This is a multi factor test that takes into account many factors. In most states the burden is on the parent seeking relocation to show to the court’s satisfaction that the relocation does further the best interests of the child. In other states, the child if of sufficient age can object to the relocation and the courts will give that factor great consideration.