Can The Custodial Parent Move A Child Out Of State?

advice on divorceQuestion:

My ex-wife has primary child custody and she told me she is going to take our child and move out of state next week.

She told me since she is the custodial parent and I have limited visitation rights that there is nothing I can do about it.

Can she move my child out of state or is she in violation of the court’s child custody order?

Answer:

This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and am thus unable to provide legal advice on divorce laws in your state.

If she unilaterally moves the child to another state without giving proper notice, it is likely that she is in violation of state divorce laws or a court order.  You should check the divorce decree or any later modifications and your state’s law regarding language concerning a party’s choice to move more than a certain distance away from their current residence.

Where I practice law, the rules say if a party is going to move with the child more than 75 miles away, they must provide a certain amount of notice so that the other parent has an opportunity to object to the move. These laws are designed to keep one parent from just packing up and moving the child away from one parent.

Your state divorce laws may require that such language be included in the decree, or these rules may only be statutory. Either way, a skilled family law attorney will know exactly where to find them.

I would urge you to move quickly however as most notice requirements expire after a certain amount of time has passed, i.e., 30 days or 60 days. So if you are going to object to the proposed move, you may be running out of time.

Courts are often reluctant to allow such moves. If you are able to show that such a move is against the child’s best interest, you may be able to stop her from moving your child out of state.

I would strongly recommend seeking the advice of a men’s divorce lawyer as you move forward.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell and Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Oklahoma City Divorce Lawyer Christian D. Barnard, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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