I am currently married, but my wife said she wants to move out of state with our daughter to be closer to her family. She says I’ll be able to see her “whenever I want,” but that does not make it any better that she wants to move our child so far away.
How can I prevent her from moving our child out of state while we are still married? Would filing for divorce and requesting child custody be the first step?
I am only licensed to practice law in Georgia, thus I can only provide you with some general divorce help for men regarding the child custody laws you present in your question.
I recommend that you file for divorce to protect your legal rights to your child. When you file for divorce in the state I practice in, after the other party is properly served he or she will be subject to the court’s Automatic Domestic Standing Order, which typically prevents either of the parties from removing the parties’ minor children outside of the court’s jurisdiction while the litigation is pending.
Unless you file for divorce and have your wife properly served with the divorce petition, you are at risk of her leaving the state with your daughter.
Child Custody Laws:
While you would still have a right to petition for your daughter’s return to your home state in the event your wife and daughter relocate to another state without your consent, you will face a much more difficult case than if you could simply address the child custody issue while your wife and daughter still reside in the state you are living.
Therefore, I would recommend filing for divorce if you believe your wife may opt to relocate to another state with your child.
Again, I am unable to provide you with legal advice on divorce and this should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a local mens divorce attorney for specific divorce advice about the child custody laws in your jurisdiction.