The Court granted the custodial parent’s request to move the children out of state and held that there is no express, absolute requirement for a relocating custodial parent to have a specific job or promise of guaranteed employment. Instead, the criteria set forth in Baures v. Lewis are the appropriate standard for considering a removal action. It is highly impractical for a custodial parent to obtain a concrete job offer from an out-of state employer when the parent does not know if and when the approved relocation will occur. Given the inherent delays in the litigation process, the most practical and relevant inquiry is whether the custodial parent has a reasonable plan for providing for the child in the new state.
A parent may choose to relocate to another state because he/she does not presently have a well-paying job or a satisfactory degree of economic stability here. Sometimes moves are beneficial when the cost of living in the new location is lower, family is available to assist with daycare, housing is more abundantly available, less competition is in a particular job market, or re-education is desired to enter an entirely new career. While there is no convenient crystal ball to know whether it is wise or unwise to leave the security of employment, the Court recognized that individuals generally have the freedom and right to make tough choices, take risks, and pursue paths to potential prosperity and happiness. When a child is involved, the child’s welfare is always paramount.