Can I move out-of-state with my children?

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Can I move out-of-state with my children?

I have custody of my 2 children. My husband is fighting that. He has DCF reports against him also. He is working a lot under the table so he does not have to pay support. I just lost my job because it was working wrong hours with caring for my children alone and school hours for them. I have financial problems now and don’t know where to turn. My parents both live in FL. My sister and brother also live in FL. My mom said she would take us in indefinitely, if we could come with her in FL, if it is legal for me to do so. Is it legal? What would I have to do?

Asked on September 13, 2010 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first thing to do when considering relocating with your children is to review your current custody agreement (it may be in a speartate agrement or part of yout divorce or parenting plan). Oftentimes, the issue of relocation has already been addressed in the agreement. If it has and it is favorable to allowing your relocation, all you have to do is follow the guidelines that have been spelled out (if you violate any of the terms of the custody agreement, violation can adversely affect your move).

If relocation is prohibited or limited, you will have to file a relocation order with the courts. Relocating in such a case without the court’s consent can lead to a kidnapping charge. So be sure to obtain the court’s approval. In making its decision as to whether or not to allow a spouse to relocate to another state with children, the court will consider the reason for the move, how far away you plan to go, if relocation will result in a better quality of life for your children, how the move will affect visitation, and similar considerations. A court would be more inclined to allow a move for a legitimate purpose, such as by a desire to be closer to family as opposed to an attempt to get away from the other spouse in order to limit their access to the children.


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