How Parental Relocation Affects Custody In Kentucky

How Parental Relocation Affects Custody In Kentucky

After a divorce, life moves on, and sometimes the custodial parent must migrate to another town or state. Perhaps the parent changed jobs or opted to move in with a new spouse. Parental relocation, for whatever reason, can have a significant influence on your parenting arrangement.

Relocating within Kentucky

Relocations within Kentucky are often negotiated and agreed upon by both parties or permitted by the court. If the new house is too far away to allow the family to follow the parenting plan, either approval from both parents or a court order may be required.

Moving Away

Moving children out of state usually necessitates either parental consent or a court order. This obligation cannot be avoided. If the youngster is old enough to consent or object to the move, the court will take that into account as well.


If both parents agree to the relocation, the noncustodial parent must sign a consent order. If one of the parents opposes to the relocation, the custodial parent must file an application for a plenary hearing, and the case will be heard in court.


If possible, co-parents should try to reach an agreement outside of court. This alternate method can save both parties a significant amount of time, worry, and money.

Kentucky's Parental Relocation Laws Have Changed

The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned nearly 20 years of case law on parental relocation in 2017. Bisbing v. Bisbing concerned a man attempting to prevent his ex-wife from relocating to Utah with their two daughters. The couple had been divorced for a year, and the ex-wife was in charge of the children.

It is no longer only the responsibility of the noncustodial parent to produce evidence that a transfer will be detrimental to the child. The onus is now on the parent seeking relocation to demonstrate that the move is in the “best interests of the kid.”

When Parents Have Joint Legal And Physical Custody

When co-parents share legal and physical custody, they must also share:


  • equal decision-making power
  • the parental obligation is divided equally
  • parenting time distribution

Because everything is divided, relocating away from one parent would have a significant influence on the children’s everyday lives.


Unless both parents intend to relocate, the court is required to reconsider the custody agreement itself. This would necessitate a court hearing in which both parties might provide facts and testimony as to why they should be granted primary physical custody.

Can I relocate the children without the permission of my ex?

You’re in serious trouble if you transferred your child over state lines without a court order or written approval from the other parent. This is referred described as “parental kidnapping,” and it can result in the loss of custody, thousands of dollars in court fees and damages, and potential jail time. Before making any important custody choices, always obey the law and get legal advice.


For legal advice, contact the experienced family lawyers at Paducah Divorce Lawyers now. To make an appointment, please come to our Paducah law office or call (270) 201-7776. to arrange a complimentary consultation with our staff.