Moving Out Of State With Child (3 Things You Need To Know)

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Moving Out Of State With Child - Moving Out Of State With Child No Custody Agreement - Can I Move Out Of State With My Child

Moving out of state with children is tough. 

In this article, we’re going over:

  • how to get permission to move out of state with children
  • what moving means for your child custody
  • what happens to visitation with your child
  • potential outcomes from you moving out of state

So, let’s dig in.

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Moving Out Of State With Child

Moving out of state with children depends on a few things. 

Things that affect the ability of a parent moving out of state with children are:

  • joint custody vs sole custody
  • custodial rights vs non-custodial rights
  • having a custody agreement vs not having one
  • whether the father has rights to the child
  • whether both parents agree to the move

Moving Out Of State With Child No Custody Agreement

Can you even consider moving out of state with a child and no custody agreement?

With no custody agreement, there is generally nothing keeping a parent from moving out of state.

Without a custody agreement, both parents have equal rights to the child.

Meaning either parent can lawfully take legal possession of the child at any time. 

Moving out of state with the child aginst the other parent’s desire can backfire. 

Most judges will make child custody orders based on what’s in the best interest of the child. 

They will take into account that you separated the child from their other parent.

And judges believe it’s in the child’s best interest to have both parents equally involved. 

So moving out of state with children and no custody agreement is not advised. 

But you are able to do so if you want to. 

Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State With Children

Custodial parents moving out of state with children need court approval first. 

Custodial parents who move without permission face:

  • being held in contempt by the courts
  • get fined by the courts
  • serve jail time 
     

Read this to learn how to get permission to move out of state with children.

The courts usually won’t allow a custodial parent to move. 

The reason they will allow it is if there is a real benefit to the child. 

Meaning that the relocation has an overall improvement in their quality of life. 

Reasons a judge will approve a moving out of state with children include:

  • a new job opportunity or increased income for the custodial parent
  • closer proximity to the custodial parent’s extended family, who can help with child-care and support
  • an educational opportunity, or
  • a new marriage
     

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

Non-Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State With Children

There are no restrictions for a non-custodial parent moving out of state. 

But the child cannot move with you. 

If you want to move out of state, you’ll have to adjust your child custody agreement. 

This includes figuring out a new out-of-state custody and visitation schedule. 

You or your ex will need to file a child custody order modification. 

You can submit this modification order to your local family court. 

This is going to be the court you received your child custody orders from. 

You Have Full Custody And Are Moving Out Of State With Children

Whether you can move out of state with your children gets determined by your court orders. 

Even if you have full custody, your court order may require you to:

  • give the other parent 60-day notice of the move
  • allow the other parent to object to the move
  • get approval from the courts to relocate 
     

Usually, the steps for getting permission for moving out of state with children are:

  1. Determine how far away you’ll be moving to see if you’re violating the custody order.  
  2. Discuss moving with the child’s other parent to try to work towards an agreement
  3. File a Letter of Intent to Relocate.
  4. Wait for the non-custodial parent to contest the relocation
  5. File a Move Away Order if you have joint custody to reevaluate child custody agreements. 
  6. Attend the court hearing and get a court order from the judge. 
     

Parents with full custody have a presumptive right for moving out of state with children. 

Meaning the courts give the parent with full custody the benefit of the doubt to make decisions. 

But you’ll still need to follow the steps for moving out of state with children. 

Related: I Need A Divorce Lawyer And Have No Money

Can I Move Out Of State With My Child Before Divorce

You can move out of state with your child before divorce

Married parents have equal rights to the child. 

This means they both can make decisions about the child without: 

  • consulting the other parent
  • notifying the other parent
     

But there are repercussions to moving out of state with your child before divorce

When you file for divorce with children, you are most likely going to have a custody battle

The custody battle will take place in the county the child has lived in for the last 6 months

So, let’s say you move out of state with the child before divorce. 

And that you file for divorce 3 months after you move. 

You will have to drive back to the county of residence for the custody battle. 

This is because the child has not lived in the new location for 6+ months

So their residence is still the county that they previously lived in

What if you want to file for divorce after moving out of state with your child before divorce? 

You should live in that state for 6+ months so that the child becomes a resident. 

What if you THINK your spouse will move out of state with the child before divorce? 

You should file for divorce BEFORE the child has lived in the new state for 6+ months. 

Related: Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First

If I Have Full Custody Can I Move Out Of State

Even if you have full custody, you have to get permission to move out of state. 

“Permission” to move out of state with full custody can either be:

  • both parents agreeing to the move
  • the non-custodial parent NOT objecting to the Letter of Intent to Relocate
  • the judge giving court orders that you can move out of state with full custody 

If you have full custody you cannot move out of state without permission. 

Even if both parents agree, a petition has to get filed. 

This petition notifies the court of the relocation. 

And it lets them know whether the other parent is okay with the relocation

(See more on the exact steps of how to get permission to move out of state with children below.)

Custodial Parent Move Out Of State

So, can a custodial parent move out of state?

A custodial parent cannot move out of state without prior approval from the courts. 

If a custodial parent moves out of state with the child WITHOUT permission, then they:

  • are violating the child custody agreement
  • can be held in contempt
  • can get charged fines
  • can serve jail time
     

Let’s say a custodial parent moves out of state without permission.

The judge may even change the custody agreement to give custody to the other parent. 

The judge wants to reduce disruptions to the child’s life. 

When a custodial parent moves out of state with the child, they are disrupting their life. 

This is why moving out of state with children is a tough process.  

Can A Mother Move A Child Away From The Father

Can a mother move a child away from the father depends on if the father has custodial rights. 

Let’s say that the father was not married when the child was born

An unmarried father’s rights are non-existent. 

He does not have any rights to custody or visitation.

At least, until he proves paternity and legitimizes the child

In this case, a mother can move a child away from the father if he does not have parental rights

This is because a mother has full parental rights when the parents are not married.

The other scenario is if the child was born to married parents. 

A father has equal parental rights if the child was born during a marriage. 

This is because a married father’s rights are the same as a mother’s.

If the parents are currently married, the mother can move a child away from the father. 

During the marriage, both parents are free to do as they please

This is because they have equal rights to the child. 

But what if the parents are divorced?

The mother cannot move the child away from the father without approval from the courts. 

Moving the child away from the father is usually a violation of the custody orders

The judge will have to decide that it’s in the child’s best interest to move. 

They want to keep the child close to both parents

How To Get Permission To Move Out Of State With Child - Moving Out Of State With Child - Moving Out Of State With Child No Custody Agreement

How To Get Permission To Move Out Of State With Child

There are certain steps you need to take for how to get permission to move out of state with children. 

The steps are:

  1. Provide the other parent with a Letter of Intent to Relocate.
  2. Wait 30 days for them to respond to the Letter of Intent. 
     

There are not ONLY two steps on how to get permission to move out of state with a child. 

But the next steps that you need to take depend on how the other parent responds. 

They can respond in two ways. 

  • object to the relocation
  • ignore the Letter of Intent or accept it
     

When you send the other parent a Letter of Intent, you must send it by Certified Mail

This allows you to get a receipt of delivery. 

You will need this to prove to the courts that you gave them proper notice. 

Other things that you need to include in the paperwork are:

  • The mailing address of the new home
  • Names and ages of the individuals (now living) in the new residence.
  • Names and ages of people who intend to live there.
  • The name of the new school district and school.
  • The date of the proposed relocation.
  • The reasons for the proposed relocation.
  • A proposal for a revised custody schedule.
  • An affidavit, allowing the parent to respond to your Letter of Intent (LOI).
  • A proposed revised custody schedule.
  • A warning that if they fail to respond to the LOI then they cannot object to the relocation. 

If There Was No Response To The Letter Of Intent For Moving Out Of State

Now you know how to get permission to move out of state with children. 

So, let’s talk about what happens if the other parent does not respond to the Letter of Intent.

You will need to file a Notice of Proposed Relocation. 

With this, you need to provide proof that the Letter of Intent to Relocate was received. 

(That’s why you need to send the LOI by Certified Mail, which gives you a delivery receipt.)

With the proof of receipt, you also have to file an affidavit stating that no object was given

So, all the items that you need to file are:

  • proof that the other parent received the Letter of Intent
  • an affidavit stating there was no objection
  • a petition to confirm relocation
  • a petition to modify child custody orders
     

Fill out the form on this page and we will walk you through all of this. 

Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement

If There Was An Objection To The Letter Of Intent For Moving Out Of State

Now, what happens if there was an objection to the Letter of Intent?

The other parent can object to your relocation or the modification of child custody. 

But they only have 30 days to object to you moving out of state with children. 

After that 30-days, they lose the ability to make any objections. 

But this is 30 days after they receive the notice. 

Not 30 days after you send it. 

They must send an objection to the courts and send a copy to you. 

After The Other Parent Objects To Moving Out Of State

When the courts receive the objection to the relocation, they schedule a hearing. 

This is usually an expedited hearing since you’re moving within 30 days. 

But now that there is an objection, the courts will make you defend yourself. 

They want to know why moving out of state with the children is a good idea. 

This could be a new job that drastically improves the children’s quality of life. 

They also want to see that your motivation for moving is in good faith. 

And not just spite the other parent. 

The objecting parent has the opportunity to present their objections to the relocation. 

This can include evidence, testimonies, and witnesses to back up their objections. 

A parent relocation is one of the 7 reasons a judge will change custody

But they want to make sure it’s in the child’s best interests. 

The judges want to keep both parents in the child’s life. 

So, there has to be a compelling reason for moving out of state with children. 

Related: No Custody Agreement Father Took Child

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