If my husband and I decided to separate and get a divorce can I leave the state with our 2 young sons?

We have not spoken with any lawyers or the
courts yet. But are wanting to separate and get
a divorce. We have twin 2 year old boys. We
both currently live in TN, but I would like to take
the kids to Ohio where my family is so I have a
support system. Do I have to get a court order
allowing me to leave the state with the kids?

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Family Law, Tennessee


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Until a court order is in effect, as your children's parent, you can legally leave the state with them. That having been said, if your husband goes to court in his state for custody, then you can be required to return with them (at which point at least the issue of temporary cutody will be determined). If you do not, you can be arrested for parental kidnapping. However, if your husband agrees to your leaving, then once you establish residency in your new state, you can either file for divorce there or in the state in which your husband lives. At this point, you should consult with a local divorce lawyer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.