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Divorced parents in Washington state who wish to relocate and take their children with them may need to follow certain protocols to do so. For instance, those who want to take their child outside of his or her current school district would need to inform each person who has visitation rights to the child. Notice must be given at least 60 days before the move is scheduled to occur. Individuals who have visitation rights to the child have up to 33 days to file a formal objection.

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.