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Divorce and custody cases make relocating less likely

In the past, it was fairly common for people to move to other states in order to get better jobs, to have better living situations and to have brighter futures. Since the mid-1960s, however, the U.S. migration rates have significantly declined. A study points to the idea that divorce and child custody have a strong impact on why people in South Carolina and around the country are choosing to stay put rather than to move.

A researcher at the University of Connecticut looked at data concerning divorce and child custody along with migration rates. Migration for this purpose is defined as a person moving from one state to another. He found that divorce and child custody cases were strongly correlated with a reduction in the migration rates. Parents who have gone through child custody cases are especially less likely to move.

The researcher said he believes that divorce and child custody cases have a larger impact today on migration rates because of how judges award child custody as well as changing views men have about their children. Many courts now grant joint custody, leading parents to remain in the same state rather than one moving away. A parent may be less likely to move because by doing so, he or she may lose custody of his or her children.

Parental relocation with children is still possible in some cases. A person who needs to move with his or her children after a custody order has been put into place may file a motion to relocate with the court that has jurisdiction over the matter. A family law attorney might help by drafting the motion and appearing at court hearings.

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