The New York Times hits a hot button with relocation cases: divorced parents moving and custody issues going back to court.
Leslie Eaton writes (excerpt):
As fathers’ rights groups have organized around the country, judges and legislators have become more sensitive to the heartbreak of parents separated from their children. But now mothers with physical custody say they feel trapped in untenable situations, especially since alimony has become uncommon and the economy remains rocky in many regions. Judges say that they find all custody cases difficult, but for many, relocations can be the toughest and most time-consuming. When warring parents live far apart, it is hard to come up with a plan that allows them to share the child.
“It’s much more difficult to come up with a Solomon-like decision,” said Sharon S. Townsend, a longtime family court judge who is now the state administrative judge in western New York. And the task has only become more difficult since 9/11, she said, as parents have become more reluctant to let children travel alone.
The United States remains a highly mobile society; a 2000 Census Bureau survey found that in a 12-month period, 43.4 million people changed residences. Americans have become more likely to move longer distances, the survey found, and divorced people are far more likely to move than those who are married.