Mediating Parental Relocation Cases Behind a Veil of Ignorance

20 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2015 Last revised: 25 Jun 2019

See all articles by Rebecca Morrow

Rebecca Morrow

Wake Forest University - School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Relocation cases involve one parent (usually the primary parent) requesting to relocate a child away from the child's prior residence and the nonrelocating parent. If the relocation is granted, the child and the nonrelocating parent will experience significant geographic and perhaps psychological separations. If the relocation is denied, the child will shift to the primary physical custody of the non-relocating parent and will experience such separations from the relocating parent. Relocation cases are extremely difficult for parents because they involve significant deprivations of freedom in parental decision making and of residential time with one's child, deprivations which cannot be shared equally but must be borne in greater measure by the parent who must now live far away from his or her child. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that too often, parents (especially highly involved parents with shared custody arrangements) are deprived of a meaningful opportunity to reach self-imposed and agreed solutions. Parents in relocation cases often suffer failures in traditional negotiation and mediation and are forced to abandon their own assessments of what would be in their child's best interests and accept the substitute assessments imposed by a judge. This Essay proposes a new model of mediation (mediation behind a veil of ignorance) aimed to assist parents in relocation cases in fashioning parenting plans that reflect their own assessments of what would be in their child's best interests even before a decision is made about whether the relocation will be granted.

Keywords: parental relocation, child custody, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, family law

Suggested Citation

Morrow, Rebecca, Mediating Parental Relocation Cases Behind a Veil of Ignorance (2014). 49 Wake Forest Law Review 771 (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2649036

Rebecca Morrow (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

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