Can your ex pack up the kids and move to another state?

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Ronda A. Middleton |

Parents often disagree about what is best for the kids even when they are still married. After a divorce, those differences in opinion will be even more extreme. If your ex has family in Chicago or gets an great job offer in Boston, they could decide without consulting you that they want to move with the kids across the country.

In some cases, one parent might actually pack up the kids and leave without notifying their ex or the courts. If you share custody, even if your ex has more parenting time, can they move and sever your relationship with the children?

Parental relocations with children require permission

California usually restricts relocations by parents in shared custody arrangements. Sometimes, there is a restriction that parents cannot move to a new city or school district. Other times, the restrictions are just about leaving the state or the country.

Typically, if one parent wants to do something beyond what you agreed to in the parenting plan, you will either have to consent or a court will have to approve the move. Trying to stop a move can be difficult, but there are strategies you can use.

Showing that your ex has threatened to alienate you from the children might cast some suspicions on their motives. Demonstrating that you ex has ties where they currently live or equal if not better job opportunities could also show that this move comes from spite more than from necessity.

If your ex notifies you of plans to move and take the children, talk with your family law attorney to determine what your options are for keeping your children in the area.

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