Often during the course of a divorce or custody dispute, one parent wants to move out-of-state with the child. Minnesota law requires the parent to either get the consent of the other parent or to get the court’s permission. However, if the decision is up to the judge, it is very difficult to gain permission to leave the state.

Minnesota Statute § 518.175 addresses a request to move to another state. This statute sets out the requirement that if a parent is requesting to move, it is their burden to show that it is in the best interest of the child. The statute further sets out specific factors that need to be considered by the court in making this decision.

Domestic Violence

If domestic violence has occurred between the parties, then the burden shifts to the parent objecting to the move to show it is in the child’s best interest to remain in Minnesota.

Generally, the court will not find it to be in the child’s best interest to move if the child is well integrated into the community here and there is any possibility that the child’s relationship with the parent who is not moving would be affected by the move. The court wants to be sure that both parents are able to carry on a relationship with the child and have a strong relationship with him or her.

Moving within the State

An interesting point in discussions of moving is that there is no standard for if a parent wants to relocate within the state of Minnesota. Unless the parties previously agreed otherwise, the relocating parent does not have to get permission from the other parent or from the court. This leads to some confusion, as sometimes a parent may just want to move one town over which is in another state, which requires permission, but would be able to easily move hours away across the state with no problems.