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Can you take your child out of state in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Divorce

If your friends ask why you want to move when you divorce, you might say to get away from your spouse. They may think that is a valid reason. However, if you have a child and hope to take them with you, a judge will not.

Courts consider that it is in a child’s best interests to have both parents continue to take part in their life after divorce. While there are exceptions to this, they are few.

If you wish to move from the area with your child, you will need primary physical custody. That is to say, the child will live with you, and the other parent will have visitation rights. Yet, the other parent might want to share physical custody and have the child spend a few nights with them every week. If you move a thousand miles away, this will not be possible. If you cannot reach a consensus, you need to persuade the court why they should let you move.

A court may place conditions on you moving with your child

Let’s imagine the court accedes to your wish to relocate with your child. They might expect you to contribute to the costs of the other parent maintaining contact with the child.

You might also need to send the child to their other parent for blocks of time to make up for the lack of regular contact. For instance, a court may decide that if the child moves with you, they should spend all school holidays with their other parents.

The best way to achieve child custody arrangements that are agreeable to you, your spouse and your children is to talk and negotiate. To do this, you need to put aside any bitterness and put your children first.