Sharing custody after a divorce is a challenging prospect, especially if you and your ex want different things. While you may hope to share custody, they may want to move back to California or even farther away because that is where their family lives.
Whether they cite job opportunities, social connections or cost-of-living concerns, you likely feel strongly opposed to your ex leaving Hawaii with your children. Will a judge let your ex leave the state with your kids after your divorce?
A judge focuses on what is best for the children
Parents can sometimes reach unique arrangements for managing shared custody. If you can settle outside of court, any appropriate solution that centers on the needs of your children will likely be a viable option.
When there is a significant disagreement, such as whether the children should stay in the state or not, you may not be able to settle custody matters on your own. In that situation, you will turn to a judge to interpret state law and settle custody matters. When making custody determinations, a judge should always prioritize what would be in the best interests of the children.
Moving away could hurt your relationship and your kids
There is a strong presumption in most cases that keeping the children connected with both parents will be what is best for them. A judge may choose not to grant a request by one parent to relocate out of state with the children or they may restrict their parenting rights accordingly.
For example, a judge might decide that the children should stay with you during the school year and then travel to see your ex during their summer vacation. Preserving a child’s sense of stability and community is important during divorce, and a relocation can make a difficult time even harder for the children.
Focus on your kids as you develop your custody strategy
The best way to secure an outcome that you can accept in a litigated Hawaii custody scenario is to understand what is possible under state law and what guides a judge’s decisions. Now that you know they must focus on what is best for the kids, you can use that to strategize about how you present your custody case to the court.
Learning more about the rules that guide custody decisions during divorce can lead to a favorable custody outcome.