Are divorce and child custody leading to fewer inter-state moves?

Posted in Divorce on August 22, 2016

Moving to another state can be stressful and a very impactful life change. So, there are a variety of things that could make a person hesitant to make such a move.

It appears that hesitation to make these sorts of moves has been growing in the United States in recent decades. Data on inter-state migration in America between 1965 and 2015 indicates that the rate of people moving to other states has dropped considerably over this 5-decade period.

Recent research suggests that divorce and child custody are contributors to this trend. The research found that individuals who have divorced and have children have a lower likelihood of making an inter-state move than those who don’t have children.

The researcher behind this analysis suggested that this lack of interstate moving for divorced individuals with kids could be driven by things like a desire to not lose custody of their kids through such a move. Both parents in a divorce having some level of custody of the kids has grown more common in the past several decades, as joint custody has increased in prominence.

Now, concerns regarding the kids could not only affect a divorced person’s views towards moving. It could also impact the type and level of relationship they want to have with their ex following their divorce. When a divorcing individual has kids, there are all kinds of situations in the future in which they may have to work closely with their ex regarding their kids for the good of the kids. Thus, maintaining a solid working relationship with their ex may be a particularly high priority for divorcing individuals with children.

Typically, maintaining one’s custody rights when deciding to move away a significant distance is determined by the real reason for the move and whether or not moving will have a profound positive influence on a child’s life. For example, the court will frown upon a parent moving because he/she would like to live in a sunnier climate.  If the sun is more important than your kid….well, draw your own conclusion.  And NEVER imagine that you can fool the court.  Judges have seen and heard EVERYTHING and they’re very bright people.  Follow your lawyer’s advice. He or she can tell you with remarkable accuracy how the court will handle your situation if you and your spouse cannot agree.  After all, once one becomes a parent, being a good one is one’s primary responsibility.

So, among the goals a parent may have when getting divorced is keeping the divorce from destroying the ability for productive communications with their ex and the ability for they and their ex to work together when it comes to the kids. Keeping a divorce simple and amicable may be able to help with these goals. So, one of the divorce options Pennsylvania divorcing parents may want to look into are simple, no-fault, uncontested divorces.

Source: UConnToday, “Divorce Contributes to Decline in U.S. Migration,” Christine Buckley, Aug. 16, 2016