Can I take my 10 year old to another state?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I take my 10 year old to another state?

I want to file divorce. After I file and most likely before it’s finalized, I want to move back to Wisconsin. I want to know the legal ramifications if I do that. Can my wife have kidnapping charges filed against me or anything else?

Asked on January 28, 2018 under Family Law, Idaho


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Until you file, you can take your children anywhere that you want. However, once a divorce has been filed things change. The local court will have jurisdiction, which means that your wife can ask to have you come back to the state. If you fail to return, then you can be arrested for parental kidnapping. Now, while you could move and then file in your new state, you would have to wait until you have established residency (which typically takes several months). In the meantime, your wife could file in her state and then that court would have jurisdiction, which again means that you would have to return with the children. Your best bet is to file now and get temporary custody. For further information, you should consult directly with a divorce attornyy in your area; they can best advise you further.

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 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.

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