Can I move me and my child out of state and could I handle my divorce out of state?

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Can I move me and my child out of state and could I handle my divorce out of state?

I have no written legal agreement between my husband. Our son lives with me full time, and his father doesn’t pay child support or any of his needs. He only sees him once maybe twice a week for about an hour.

Asked on August 14, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you can only file for divorce in the state of which you are a resident, and typically it takes 6 months to estalish residency in a new state. So until you do, you would have to file in your current state.

As for taking your son when you move, since there is no court order in affect, you can do so. However, his father could go obtain a court order which will require you to return with him. If you fail to do so, you could be charged with parental kidnapping.

The best way for you to obtain legal custody is to go to court first. You can get a temporary custody order (a permanent order will be issued at such time as your divorce is finalized). In deciding whether or not you can then move your son out-of-state, the judge will consider "the bests interests of the child" in making its determination.

Note: You could file in court after you have obtained residency. But again, that typically takes around 6 months and your son's father could go to court in his state in the meantime.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Potentially you can move out of state with your minor son and handle the dissolution from iut if state. However, such is a challenging thing to do given court appearances where one has to appear personally as well as mediation. I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney about the situation you are in and your desires so as to explore your legal options in the court system.


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