Under Washington child custody law, there is a rebuttable presumption in favor of granting a parent’s request for relocation. To deny a relocation, the trial court must find that its detrimental effect would outweigh the benefits to the child and the parent seeking relocation. RCW 26.09.520 sets forth 11 factors to be considered by the court.
In a recent case, a mother appealed a trial court’s denial of her request to relocate and its modification naming the father as the primary residential parent. The agreed parenting plan had named the mother as the primary residential parent and allowed the father residential time on Wednesday evenings and every other weekend. The parents lived within 7.6 miles of each other.
The mother subsequently filed a Child Relocation Act petition. The husband responded by seeking primary residential placement. The trial court granted the mother a temporary relocation order, and the mother and children moved about 30 miles away from the father.