Moving Out-of-State With Your Child

Many people are given the opportunity for a job promotion or new employment in another state. In other cases, people want to move out-of-state to be closer to family or friends. Whatever the reason you are considering moving far away, you will need to seriously consider your circumstances if you have a minor child. You may not have the legal ability to take your child with you if you move out-of-state. If you are either considering a divorce, are in the middle of the divorce process, or have already obtained a parenting plan as the result of a divorce, you may wonder if you have the right to take your child with you if you move. Consider the different legal requirements and laws related to child custody laws and moving out-of-state with your child before you make your decision.

If You and Your Spouse are Legally Married

If you are still legally married, and neither spouse has officially filed paperwork to begin the divorce process, you have the legal right as a parent to take your child to another state. However, if you make the decision to move out-of-state, it is likely that your spouse will file a temporary order with the court that will prevent you from doing so. Most parents do not like the idea of the other parent moving a child across state lines. Parents typically want to spend as much time as possible with their children, and if you make the decision to move outside of a state, the other parent has the legal right to ensure that you do not infringe on their time with their child.

Additionally, if you make the decision to still move out-of-state before you file divorce paperwork, a court may not look favorably on your actions as it relates to child custody arrangements. If you move, the other parent may be able to prove that they attempted to continue to provide a stable and secure environment for the child, and even attempt to receive full custody of the child as a result. Depending on how far away you are planning to move, a court may indeed grant full custody to the parent who will allow a child to stay in the same school, in the same environment, and around the same family and friends.

During the Divorce Process

If you have already filed for divorce, or if your spouse has filed for divorce, then an automatic preliminary injunction may have been put into place that requires both parents to keep the children in the same or similar situation until the final determination regarding child custody is made. If you made the decision to still take your child out-of-state with you when you move, you could be legally held in contempt of court and face repercussions from the court for your actions. The entire reason that a court creates these preliminary injunctions is so that parents will not take a child away from their other parents. You do still have a legal right to take your child on vacation outside of the state, but to do so, you should always receive a written note from the other parent indicating their approval.

Finalized Divorce

If your divorce has already been finalized, you have minor children with your ex-spouse, then the court will have created and approved some sort of parenting plan that you both must legally follow. These parenting plans are not simply guidelines, but legal requirements that both spouses must adhere to or suffer consequences. If a parent makes the decision to take a child with them as they move out of state after a divorce in violation of a parenting plan, that parent may lose full custody of the children.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are entertaining the idea of moving out-of-state either before, during or after your divorce, it may have a great impact on your child custody arrangements. Consider visiting with an experienced divorce lawyer at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Mooresville, North Carolina at 704.370.2828. We can help you understand if you have the legal right to modify a custody plan to your benefit. Contact us by phone or online today for your free consultation.