Can my wife move out of state with my daughter if we divorce?

UPDATED: Jun 18, 2015

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Can my wife move out of state with my daughter if we divorce?

Asked on June 18, 2015 under Family Law, New York


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Once divorce papers are filed,�your wife�may not take your child out of state. If she does she can be forced by the court to return; if she fails to do so she could be charged with parental kidnapping. However prior to filing she may take her. In that event, you could go to court to file for custody in your state. At that point she would have to return with your daughter.

Once an order�is formally in effect and�she still wants to leave, she will need to get the court's permission. Whether or not it grants�your wife�the right to take your daughter with her will depend on what is determined to be in the "best interests of the child". The court will look at all the circumstances (how far will she be moving, her relationship with both you and her mother, the reason for the move and a host of other factors).

Right now you should consult directly with a divorce attorney who also handles custody cases. They can best advise you fully as to your rights. The sooner you do,�the better. Being prepared will be key in all of this.

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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