You’ve finally won your custody dispute. You now have full custody of your children, with your ex-spouse having visitation rights. Now you’ve decided you want to move to a different state – maybe for greater job prospects or to be closer to your family. Before you plan your move, it’s important to know about some of the holdups and obstacles you will probably face.
The permission requirement
Before you start packing your moving boxes, it is essential that you inform your ex-spouse of your intention to move. You must also seek permission from the court that issued your divorce decree and child custody plan.
When deciding whether to allow the move, the judge will weigh a variety of factors. The most important thing any judge will consider is the best interest of the children. A court will not allow you to move if they perceive your move as nothing more than a vindictive attempt to deprive your ex-spouse of access to the children – unless you are fleeing abuse or danger by your ex-spouse.
Thus, if you want permission to move, you will have to make a convincing case that the benefits of moving to the new state for your children will significantly outweigh the drawbacks. An experienced attorney can be very helpful in preparing a persuasive request to present to the court.
What if you don’t ask?
If you try to move without getting permission from the court, there can be serious consequences. Your ex-spouse can claim that you are placing an undue burden on their ability to have access to their children.
The courts take that kind of thing very seriously. The court could find that as grounds for modifying the custody order, and you could even lose custody altogether.
No aspect of divorce leads to more contention and conflict than the messy topic of child custody. If you follow the correct protocol when planning a move out of state with the children, you can hopefully avoid having your custody challenged or modified.