Relocation Custody Disputes-A Binuclear Family-Centered Three-Stage Solution
Oliphant, Robert E.
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This article argues that the best method for courts to adopt during relocation custody disputes is a binuclear, family-centered process. A binuclear family is defined as a large, interconnected family, with one household headed by the ex-wife and the other by the ex-husband, with the child being a member of both. The author contends that the current methods, which include the endangerment standard and the "new family" theory, are both inadequate to deal with a relocation custody dispute. Specifically, the author discusses a proposed three-step process for dealing with a relocation custody dispute. Step one involves the creation of a parenting plan, step two requires mediation and, as a last resort, step three would involve a de novo hearing by the court. This three-step process, following a binuclear family-centered approach, would make relocation disputes seem fair to all parties, and would avoid many of the current problems associated with the other methods of resolution.