Move to Modify?

Quinones v. Bouffard, 2017 VT 103

By Andrew Delaney

I’m once again in my “home office,” which means I’m lying in bed with my laptop and telling my wife: “I’m working.” It beats doing the dishes. If there’s an upside to this virus crisis it’s that we here at SCOV Law are making progress on the backlog.

This one is a 2017 case about modification of parental rights and responsibilities. The specific issue is what a court can and can’t do when a parent plans to move. Let’s dig in.

Mom and dad have one child together. They were never married. When they separated, they entered a stipulated order for shared legal, sole physical to mom, and daily-plus-weekends-and-holidays agreed-upon parent-child contact with dad. They lived together for a time, then split for real.

In general, dad had daily visits, and some overnights on weekends. Child would stay with maternal grandma some Sunday nights and with mom the rest of the time. Child had a close relationship with both mom and dad. Both mom and dad …

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