Can I Move Out Of State If My Ex Is Not Exercising Her Visitation Rights

divorce jurisdictionQuestion:

My ex-wife is not exercising her visitation rights under our current child custody arrangement because she recently moved several states away.

I would like to move to another state with my child and my new wife.

Can I move with my wife and child to another state if my ex-wife has not made an effort to fulfill her part of the custody schedule?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Even though your ex-wife is not exercising her visitation rights under your existing child custody order, and even though she has moved to a different state, divorce lawyers generally would not recommend that you move to another state without first petitioning the court to approve of your relocation with your son.

That being said, given the facts you state, it sounds like there is a good chance that the court may allow your relocation, after a hearing is held, as required by procedural due process.

In general, courts look to three factors when deciding whether to approve a relocation: (1) whether the proposed move is likely to improve the quality of life for the parent and child, (2) that the move is not motivated simply by a desire to frustrate the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent, and (3) the feasibility of substitute visitation arrangements to insure a continuing relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent.

So your focus should be that a move to another state will be beneficial for your son. If your relocation is approved, you may have a very different visitation schedule where your ex-wife may get longer chunks of time with your child over summers or holidays, as opposed to the current visitation schedule which is impractical for a mother and father that live several states away from each other.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyer Anna M. Ciardi, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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