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Can the relocation clause be modified if violated the restraining order?

July 1, 2018

Relocation clauses are a common part of divorces that have child custody issues. Unfortunately, so too are restraining orders. When these two legal elements come into ocntact, it can be difficult to figure out what to do next. If your ex has violated a restraining order, you may not feel safe in your current home and you might want to move. Doing so would require a change in your relocation clause, though, something that requires the consent of the court. Before you decide to make that change, you may want to stop and consider whether the court is likely to grant a change in the clause.

What is a Relocation Clause?

The right of free movement is one of those rights that is near and dear to the American consciousness. It’s so important, in fact, that it can be rarely infringed upon without a serious reason. While a divorce decree cannot actually stop you from moving, it can place limits on where you can move with a child. This is usually known as a relocation clause, and it’s something that’s usually rather hard to break – and for good reason. Radical relocations can wreak havoc on custody plans and cause major upheavals in the life of a child.

Many divorces that include children have a built-in relocation clause. This clause will let both parties know where, if anywhere, each parent is allowed to move with the child. In many divorces, this clause will state that the (usually custodial) parent is not allowed to move outside of the child’s current school district. In others, there may be a specific distance from the other parent where the child may not be moved. In almost every case, this is done to make sure that both parents have access to the child and that the child is not uprooted without reason.

These clauses are usually very powerful, but they can be amended for a number of reasons. Like most things in a child custody agreement, a relocation clause can be changed if circumstances become radically different. If a child has an opportunity to attend a better school, for example, the parent(s) can work to modify the clause in order to allow one or the other parent to move into that school district. If a parent needs to move for work, it’s also very possible to have the custody agreement changed by the court even if both parties don’t agree to the change.

The Issue of the Restraining Order

Restraining orders are difficult when it comes to child custody. As one might imagine, this kind of order automatically puts certain limitations on how, when, and where one of the parents might be able to interact with his or her children. If the court has ordered a restraining order, it’s because the court believes that contact has a very good chance of being dangerous for at least one of the parties. Contrary to popular belief, these orders are not issued lightly and they actually carry a great deal of weight with the court.

If your partner has violated a restraining order, the court is likely to believe that he will do so again. The court is also likely to believe that you think that you are in danger and that moving may be the best option. You will have to argue in front of the court that you want the modification clause modified due to the violation of the restraining order – something that can be denied, but that is often granted by the court. It would be up to the other party to prove that the violation of the order doesn’t present strong enough grounds for the clause to be waived.

It’s important to remember that there are many ways that this argument could go. Even if the clause is allowed to be changed, you may not be allowed to move just anywhere. You may have to stay within a certain radius of your partner if he has partial custody or you might have to move to a certain area that you can argue would give you greater safety. The clause itself may not be totally waived even if you are in a dangerous situation – it all depends on the individual court.

Can you get a relocation clause changed if he violates a restraining order? Yes, in most circumstances. It’s not certain how a court will rule, though, or exactly what kinds of modifications you might be able to get. It’s important that you do take this matter in front of the court rather than just moving on your own, though. You do not want to be there person who is in violation of the custody agreement at any point. The best way for you to keep your child safe is to immediately contact a lawyer so you can start getting to work on having this clause modified.

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