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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 5 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.


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