October 18, 2013. What happens if you want to move out of town after your divorce decree has been entered? If you are moving, the other parent may file a Modification of Custody petition in court. The court cannot restrict your constitutional right to travel, but can consider a move a substantial change in circumstances which could potentially warrant a change in custody. The court will always look at the best interests of the child and the reason for the move. Is the parent taking a better job or moving to be closer to family? The Iowa Legislature attempted to give guidance to the courts when it adopted a 150 mile rule. That means that relocation of the custodial parent to a location 150 miles or more from the residence of the minor child at the time custody was awarded may be a substantial change in circumstances. However, a substantial change does not automatically justify a modification of custody. The burden is on the party resisting relocation to demonstrate how the move will detrimentally affect the child’s best interests.
Try to work with the other parent to come to an agreement on a visitation schedule that will work for both sides. You can hire an attorney to file a Modification Stipulation outlining your agreement if you are able to reach one. For help with your family law needs, contact the Goosmann Law Firm, PLC at email@example.com or call 712.226.4000.