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Relocation poses unique challenges for split families

Although North Carolina parents may start off their post-divorce lives fully intending to stay close to each other for their children's sake, this doesn't always last. Parents can decide to relocate to be with new partners or for other reasons, and when they do, they might run into problems.

Sometimes, those who move may suddenly discover that their new location makes it harder to fulfill the terms of their existing co-parenting agreement. For instance, when it's time to hand over custody, they might not want to drive their kids all the way back to the other parent like they once did. In other cases, the parent who didn't move resists adapting their schedule or duties to support the parent who did on the grounds that they chose to relocate of their own free will. Although some parents may be quite communicative about their desires not to change things, others simply quit adhering to their agreements and leave their exes in a lurch.

Mediation may be a way to resolve these issues. Parents might simply need to sit down and discuss issues like schedule adjustments, transportation responsibilities and child support modifications, but it's not always easy. By some estimates, at least a third of all parents who split still harbor negative emotions for their exes long after the fact.

Divorces aren't always clean breaks, and even those that start off well may sour after they're formalized. Bad blood can cause child custody issues and disrupt kids' lives if parents can't come to terms about who should bear which responsibilities and what decisions need to be made. Their respective attorneys might suggest that a parenting plan be negotiated that contains provisions that allow for some flexibility.

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