How to keep my wife from moving out of state with our daughter?

My wife and I live in one stae but we are from another. She wants a seperation but there are no papers filed as of yet. She also wants to move back to her parents and bring my daughter with her. Is she able to do that? And, if so, is there anything that I can do to stop her?

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Family Law, Louisiana


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, legally you have options to stop your wife from moving (at least temporarily). What you will have to do is to go to court and file for custody of your daughter (until you do your wife is free to take your daughter and leave the state). The court will then hear the case and determine just what is in the best interests of your child. Accordingly, it will then issue a custody order on that basis. So you may or may not be able to stop your wife's proposed relocation.

At any rate, you should file first. If you let her move and she then establishes residency in her new state (this typically takes 6 months or so), she can then file for custody there. You could still win custody but it could make things that much harder for you.

At this point, you should consult with a family law attorney in your area.

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