Relocation cases are the toughest to do because there's so much at stake. That being said, you have a court order that says you have to stay in NM. Is that part of a parenting plan that was adopted into a court order?
Either way, even if it's a parenting plan, it became part of a court order. When you have a court order, you cannot, unfortunately, just take the children with you or you will be violating the order and your ex can bring you back to court for all kinds of things, for violation, penalties, and even contempt. You will have to do this in court, I'm sorry to say. However, I'm just the messenger, and I know you want the truth from me, so I'll make sure you get that.
Where there is an existing parenting plan setting forth custody and timesharing, a parent who wants to move must file a motion to modify the parenting plan and timesharing agreement as soon as they know they will be moving. A relocating parent should understand that New Mexico will maintain jurisdiction over child custody and timesharing despite the move.
If parents have split, but have never established a formal parenting plan, it is a good idea to get a parenting plan entered by the court prior to moving.
When a parent must move suddenly, they should still file a motion to modify timesharing before they leave and either travel back for the hearing or ask the court if they can appear at the hearing via telephone. The relocating parent should be prepared for a long and frustrating process. He or she should also understand that the Court may not look favorably on the relocation for purposes of establishing child custody and timesharing
As with all custody decisions, the court‘s primary consideration in evaluating a modification of a parenting plan to accommodate a parent‘s move is the “best interests” of the child or children involved.
Where the parents share custody, but one parent wants to move with the child, the court will have to determine whether it is in the best interests of the child to stay in New Mexico or to leave with the relocating parent.
That determination rests heavily on the parent‘s reason for moving and how much of a disruption the move will cause for the child. The court will consider all of the child‘s circumstances such as family bonds, friendships, schools, sports, extracurricular activities among other issues. Most importantly, the court will look to see how the move will affect the child‘s relationship with the other parent.
Your reason to move is a valid one, so hopefully the court will look favorably at that. A new parenting plan will have to be made. This can be expensive as parents will now need to pay for travel costs to arrange visitation and can be very difficult when a child is too young to travel alone. The time, distance and a child‘s school schedule are only a few of the factors to be considered when one parent wants to move, which is why it is important that each parent consult an attorney if they are faced with such a potential change to custody and timesharing.
Let me know if you want me to find a family lawyer for you in your area. I would need to know the biggest city/town near you so I can find lawyers for you. I do this free of charge for my customers here, and while we're not allowed to recommend a specific attorney, I can point you in the right direction.
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