Relocation Includes Special Needs

My ex-husband and I share 50-50 custody of our two children. One is severely ADHD and needs a lot more structure if we are to teach him the basic life skills he needs to learn before college. I have found a school out of state that is near my parents and other family; I have proposed that we relocate there so that he can attend the school for 7th and 8th grades, a school specifically geared toward preparing its ADHD kids for standard high school, and having the kids on a tightly structured schedule that will assist him in performing tasks by rote. (I’m afraid the other option would be military school, which I don’t want to do). Having backup family (that isn’t working full time) would assist me in giving our daughter, who is creative and needs attention, the support she needs. I can prove that I have done all or most of the research and discovery for the many other interventions we’ve tried. Do you think it’s worth a $300 consultation, or should I not bother since the NC courts want both parents to live in the same place?

It is still possible to relocate out of state and worth pursuing at least a consultation with a local attorney. If your custody terms are in a court order, you would have to show (1) a substantial change in circumstances affecting the wellbeing of the minor children, and (2) that a relocation out of state would be in the best interests of the children in order to have the court order modified. If your custody terms are in a separation agreement, you would need to follow its terms as to amendments, but generally any amendments will need to be done with the consent of your ex-husband.

If the children have a close bond with their father, it might be more difficult to show that a relocation out of state would be in the best interests of the children, but it would not be impossible.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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