Can I Move My Child? Part 1: When There is No Custody Order In Place
In today’s mobile world, it has become easier and more common for people to relocate across state lines and even whole countries. Reasons for moving vary and range from a desire to live closer to extended family to following job opportunities or promotions. But when children have separated parents and one parent wants to make a move out of state or a long distance away, what happens? That’s exactly what we’ll be discussing in this series today. However, the issue of relocation is very complex and dependent upon numerous factors unique to an individual’s personal circumstances. So, while this series will cover very general information, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable child custody attorney before you actually move.
When there is no custody order in place, parents should re-examine the separation agreement or parenting plan to see if it mentions relocation. Oftentimes, guidelines are set that require parents to notify the other party within a certain timeframe if they intend to relocate more than X amount of miles away.
Even if it doesn’t, parents should speak with an attorney before moving out of state as there are several legal factors to consider. For instance, if you move out of state with the children without obtaining the Court’s or other parent’s permission there may be grounds for the other parent to file an emergency custody action requiring the children be moved back to North Carolina immediately.
Generally, the best practice for a parent who wishes to move includes:
- Notifying the other parent of your intent to move with the children;
- Obtaining the other parent’s written consent to move with the children;
- Filing a custody complaint and asking the court’s permission to relocate.
In North Carolina, courts are perfectly fine with awarding physical custody to a nonresident parent if it is determined that it is in the best interests of the children to do it. So, when filing a new custody action, be prepared to tell the court why it is in the best interest of the children to have primary physical custody awarded to you and why moving is in their best interest. In part 2 of this series, we will discuss the factors the court looks at to determine how a move will affect the well-being of the minor child.
If you’re contemplating a move or you’re a parent who has recently been notified of the other parent’s intent to move, contact our office today to find out your rights from one of our experienced Raleigh Child Custody attorneys.