Staab v. Hurst

In Staab v. Hurst, 44 Ark. App. 128, 868 S.W.2d 517 (1994), a case that involved relocation by a custodial parent to Texas, the Court adopted the following factors to be considered by the chancellor when a custodial parent seeks to move with the parties' children to a place so geographically distant as to render weekly visitation impossible and impractical: Where the non-custodial parent objects to the move, the custodial parent should have the burden of first demonstrating that some real advantage will result to the family unit from the move . . . . Where the custodial parent meets this threshold burden, the court should then consider a number of factors in order to accommodate the compelling interests of all the family members. These factors should include: (1) the prospective advantages of the move in terms of its likely capacity for improving the general quality of life for both the custodial parent and the children; (2) the integrity of the motives of the custodial parent in seeking the move in order to determine whether the removal is inspired primarily by the desire to defeat or frustrate visitation by the non-custodial parent; (3) whether the custodial parent is likely to comply with the substitute visitation orders; (4) the integrity of the non-custodial parent's motives in resisting the removal; (5) whether, if removal is allowed, there will be a realistic opportunity for visitation in lieu of the weekly pattern which can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parent relationship with the non-custodial parent.