The Burke Law Group, PLLC
Old City Hall Building
221 N. Wall St., Suite 624
Spokane, WA 99201

Main Office: (509) 466-7770
Collaborative Law: (509) 999-6747

Relocation of Parent

In the State of Washington the law requires that the primary parent give the non- primary parent notice if there is a move contemplated. This prevents parents from unilaterally removing children from the school district or state where they reside. In the beginning of the divorce action there are automatic restraining orders against changing the residency of the child/children. This also applies for children of parents who chose not to get married. Once a parenting plan or residential schedule is filed with the court the parents should be aware of the provisions relating to relocation. The courts and judges are very strict in enforcing these provisions.

The law provides for several factors that are considered by the judge when a party wants to move which triggers a change in the parenting plan provisions for visits and time with the other parent if the move is long distance. Sometimes a guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to do an investigation relating to these factors and makes a report/recommendation to the court. Questions relating to domestic violence may also be an issue.

Parents having a parenting plan or residential schedule should know that although there is a presumption in favor of the move there may be other factors that overcome that presumption. What are the reasons for the move? How will the move affect the child or children? The focus is on the child/children more than the parents. Parents can always move; the question is will the move be with or without the child/children?

Meet Our Attorneys

Dena Allen

Principal / Member of the Firm, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Collaborative Law Divorce, Cooperative Divorce, Adoptions, Estate Planning, and Probate

John Burke

Of Counsel, practicing in Collaborative Law for Divorce, Uncontested Divorce and Estate Planning. On medical leave.

Matthew Fischer

Principal / Managing Member of the Firm, practicing in all areas of Family Law Litigation, Divorce and Uncontested Divorce. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Cathy Helman

Associate Attorney, practicing in Appeals, Probate, Estate Planning, Family Law, and Bankruptcy. Also is an Administrative Law Judge Pro Tem with the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings.

Joseph Linehan

Of Counsel, practicing in Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) appeals, Family Law Litigation, Divorce, and Dependency. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Robin Schmahl

Senior Associate Attorney, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Uncontested Divorce, Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship

Rhylee Smith

Associate Attorney, admitted to practice in Washington and Idaho, practicing in all aspects of Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Support, and Modifications to Existing Orders

Kenneth Zigler, Jr.

Of Counsel, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Divorce, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and SSI benefits, and Lawsuits and Disputes including Personal Injury

Joanna Stranger

Rule 9 Intern, practicing in Family Law and Divorce