What legal rights does a custodial parent have in regard to where he/she lives?

In order to keep this thread open, I’ll leave out specifics and just ask a general question (appropriate, no?). Let’s say a man and a woman have a child together but were never married. The custody agreement gives the woman primary custody, and the man is entitled to see his son one weekend per month and over the summer for a month. The man waived the “mother and son must live within 100 miles of the father” disclaimer by signing on the dotted line, although they do currently live within that distance from each other.

Almost three years later the man decides this isn’t good enough, and hires a lawyer to get the agreement changed. He is seeking not only more time with his son, but to reenact the 100-mile clause.

My question: If the man succeeds in this endeavor (which I know in itself is not likely, short of proving the mother is unfit), does that mean she has to live within 100 miles of him, or he has to live within 100 miles of her? In other words, could she move wherever she wanted to, being the primary custodial parent, or would she be legally obligated to stay where she is, based on where he is currently living?

This isn’t very accurate. Dad’s don’t have to prove a mother unfit just to see their kid.

Generally speaking, Courts like parents that want to spend time with their kids and generally don’t like it when one parent tries to move far away from the other parent with the kid. If the custodial parent wants to move some distance away where it would create a problem with the other parents visitation, they need a very good reason and may also be forced to pay for transportation for visitation as well since they’re the one screwing up the other parent’s time with the child.

I’ve heard of judges telling custodial parents who want to move hundreds of miles away that they most certainly can, but they will have to leave the kid with the other parent. I’ve even heard of them telling a parent who has already moved that they can move back or send the kid back, their choice.

I haven’t heard of a 100-mile clause, but I don’t see any reason not to allow it. As it is now, she could move to a different state if she wanted. After the clause, she can still move, but she will have to notify dad and he will have a chance to contest it in court. If he only gets one weekend per month, it’s likely the mother could still move as long as she can maintain that one weekend per month.

It is absolutely fair and smart to have that clause and should be easy to add. It probably isn’t a “mom can’t move” clause, but a “mom has to notify dad 3 months in advance if she wants to move” clause. Then, if the move will effect their relationship, dad gets the chance to speak up.

Of course, this is all generally speaking, I’m not an attorney, the laws in your state may be strange and the details of the case may make all this moot.

I’ve never heard of a requirement to be within 100 miles of each other. It’s usually restrictions on moving out of the state of residence (or maybe county), assuming both live in the state.