My ex-wife has full visitation rights. I am looking to move with my children to another state to be closer to family. Even though we have joint custody, my house is considered the children’s primary residence.
Can I just inform her that I am moving out of state and leave or will a judge block me from moving?
Since I am only licensed to practice law in Wisconsin, I can only provide you with general divorce help for men to your relocation question.
Where I practice, a Divorce Decree will contain language that prohibits the parties from moving their minor children without first notifying the other party and the court if he/she plans on:
1) establishing legal residence out of the state;
2) establishing legal residence within the state but more than 150 miles away; or
3) keeping the children outside of the state for 90 consecutive days or more.
Upon receiving such notice, the opposing party may object to the move. The court may order mediation and ultimately rule on the issue based on the best interests in the children.
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A party’s failure to notify the opposing party and the court of the planned move is considered contempt and the appropriate authorities may be used to return the children to their domiciliary jurisdiction.
In general, no, you may not just notify the opposing party of your intent to move out of state and then pack up your kids and go. Your ex-wife is entitled to her parenting time under the current order.
I would consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to review the court’s order regarding child custody and parenting time and see if the court dictated the procedure you need to follow to effectuate relocation.
If nothing is specifically outlined, I would still notify your ex-wife and the court of your intent to move and contact a family law attorney to discuss your options.