“I’m noticing that it is getting harder and harder to get relocation cases approved,” says family law attorney Rebecca Wade. “There has been a shift in recent years towards more cases of shared custody.”

“It used to be that one parent was a primary custodian, and the other parent got every other weekend,” Wade explains. If the primary custodial parent wanted to relocate, it was easy to argue that the beneficial relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child would not be able to be maintained —  either through allowing more time in the summer, over holidays or school breaks.

“However, today you have many more shared custody cases, where both parents already have substantial time with the child,” explains Wade. Therefore, it is difficult to argue that a beneficial relationship of the non-custodial parent would not be maintained.”

However, there is hope. Wade says as soon as you know there’s potential for a relocation, whether you are seeking the relocation or opposing it, you should consult an experienced attorney. “That way, you can start preparing your case and hopefully recognize that it’s not a situation where you’re going to lose your child. The situation can be worked out and handled in a way that benefits the child.”