What happens when one parent decides to move away and take the child with him/her? Such cases are referred to as "relocation cases", and they are occurring more often in today’s ever increasingly mobile society.
Jeff Atkinson of the DePaul University College of Law wrote an Overview of Law of Relocation in the 50 States for the American Bar Association Section of Family Law Spring 2006 Conference. In his article, Prof. Atkinson addresses the following topics: Presumptions and Burden of Proof; Notice Requirements; Factors Considered in Deciding Whether or Not to Permit Relocation; and Remedies of the Court. Also, he includes a summary of the applicable statutes and/or case law from each of the fifty states, which can serve as a helpful starting point for research on this issue.
As Prof. Atkinson correctly points out, in South Carolina, the issue of relocation was last addressed in Latimer v. Farmer, 360 S.C. 375, 602 S.E.2d 32 (2004). In that case, the Supreme Court abolished the former presumption against relocation, stating: “In all child custody cases, including relocation cases, the controlling considerations are the child’s welfare and best interests. The presumption against relocation is a meaningless supposition to the extent a custodial parent’s relocation would, in fact, be in the child’s best interest.”