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Legal Information: Delaware


Laws current as of March 26, 2024

During a custody proceeding, if a parent wants to relocate with the child, what factors will the judge consider?

When there is an ongoing custody case and one party wants to relocate with the child for 60 days or more, the judge will decide whether or not to allow the relocation. This applies to relocations out of state as well as in-state relocations that greatly affect the current custodial and residential arrangement or order. The judge must consider the following factors when making his/her decision:

  • the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the both parties, siblings, and other significant individuals in the child’s life;
  • the age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child;
  • how easy or hard it would be to keep up the relationship between the non-relocating party and the child through visitation arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties;
  • whether the child wants to relocate or not, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;
  • any established pattern of conduct of the relocating party that either promotes or interferes with the relationship of the child and the non-relocating party;
  • whether the relocation of the child will improve the general quality of life for both the party seeking the relocation and the child, including financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity;
  • the reasons each party has for either relocating or for opposing the relocation; and
  • any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.1

​1 13 Del. C. § 734