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Moving Out of State with Kids After a Divorce

If you're divorced and you would like to move with your children to a different state, there may be some restrictions on your ability to do so. Before you decide to make a move, there are some things you need to know about the rights and restrictions regarding your ability to relocate when your children from a dissolved marriage are involved.

Moving restrictions

It's common for divorcing parents to negotiate relocation restrictions. Your child custody or divorce decree may specify certain restrictions when it comes to you or your former spouse's ability to move. There may be a set geographical boundary, beyond which you are not allowed to move your child.

If there is a restriction and you decide to move anyway, you could be held in contempt of court, which could involve a fine, jail time or both. However, you might be able to get court approval to relocate, even if your decree or state law specifies a restriction.

A noncustodial parent may wish to file an objection with the court to block the relocation if your decree or state law has travel restrictions, or a petition to change your custody agreement and gain the modified child custody necessary to ensure a continuing relationship with the child.

Court procedure

If the court does become involved, which is fairly common in situations like these, it will take into consideration several factors:

  • Any previous agreements made between the parents
  • Whether the intent to seek or oppose the move is made in good faith
  • The age and needs of the child
  • The emotional, physical and educational consequences the move would have on the child
  • Possible alternative arrangements
  • The child's preference
  • Whether the child's quality of life would be improved or harmed by the move

Parents are allowed to discuss and negotiate these issues outside of the courtroom, however. If you would like to relocate with your child or stop your kids' other parent from taking your children out of state, meet with a dedicated Orlando child custody attorney right away.

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