If no objection is filed, a parent can generally relocate a child without seeking a formal court order. It is important to note that a parent cannot relocate a child during the time a person has to object to the move. If a court hearing is scheduled, no move can take place until after the hearing has occurred.
Washington law generally assumes that a relocation is in the best interest of a child. Therefore, it is up to the parent objecting to the move to convince a judge that this is not true in a given case. In the event that a parent is moving to a new residence in the same school district, that person only needs to provide actual notice by any reasonable means available. The other parent generally cannot formally challenge a move within the same school district.
It may be possible to seek modifications to an existing parenting plan if the need arises. For instance, it may be possible to modify a visitation arrangement to account for the fact that a parent is moving to a new city or state. A legal professional may help a parent contest any proposed changes or help convince a judge that making them is in a child’s best interest.