If there is no custody agreement, can I move out of state?

I am married and have an 18 month old son with my husband. My husband is currently working out of state. We’re planning on moving to that state but if it doesn’t work out, can I leave and move back?

Asked on January 27, 2013 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

At such time as you may want to move, if you don't have a custody order yet in place, it will be advisable to get one as you should have something that is legally enforceable. If you wish to move out of state, you'll need to consider the impact on your child and whether he has a relationship with his father. If his father does have one at that time, then nothing will prevent him from going to court and seeking an order to prohibit your relocationa or forcing joint custody (which would make it impossible for you to move). If at the time you want to leave, his father is not in the picture and there is no order then there will legally be nothing to prevent the move. However, your husband could still decide to file for custody after you leave and you would then be forced to return (at least until the matter is settled). If you don't you could be charged with parental kidnapping.

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