Ask a Divorce Lawyer: If my kids will have a better life in another state away from their mother, can I move them?

Question: For the last four years, I’ve had joint custody of my two children (ages 8 and 11 now) with my ex wife. And for the entirety of that time, they have the same complaint: their mother never spends enough time with them. The kids spend at least 3.5 days a week with me, sometimes more. My ex is always busy with her boyfriend, or talking on the Internet to somebody. She also changed her work schedule, which cuts even further into the time she can spend with our kids. 

If she’s not interested in spending time with the kids, I see no real reason for me to be here. I own a home in another state and am currently renting a place here to be near my kids. My other home is a better community for the kids to live in, family is close by to babysit, cost of living is cheaper, education is better, and on and on. 

Do I stand a chance at getting full custody and moving out of state? Any chance at all?

Answer:  I must preface my answer that I do not practice in Nevada. Each state has different laws governing child custody.  It is important that you contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Nevada prior to taking any action.

The beauty of the American legal system is that you always have a chance.  The difference comes in the degree of your chance.  A court in making a decision such as the one you are proposing will consider the best interests of the children first and foremost.  If you can present a compelling argument that moving the kids out of state and away from their mother will be in their best interests, then you might be successful.  Please understand that this will be a difficult argument to win but not impossible.


Steven “Lee” Akins, Jr. is a Staff Attorney in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Akins practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations. He received his BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and continued his education to receive his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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