Can My Ex Move Out of the State with My Child After Our Divorce?

Divorce often has lasting repercussions, especially where children are involved. Most people want to move away as far as possible to have a fresh start in life. When moving alone, the relocation is easy, but it can become complex if children are involved. 

If your ex-spouse is considering relocation and wants to move with your child, you may be disadvantaged because it’ll affect your relationship with your child. It’s essential to consult Montgomery County fathers’ rights attorneys to understand your options and what you can do. 

Your ex-spouse has no right to keep your child away from you after a divorce. Skilled lawyers can fight to ensure your rights as the child’s father are protected. You can legally stop your ex-spouse from moving by seeking a court order, and your lawyers can help you. Besides, your ex-spouse should at least consult you before moving because it concerns the child.

What If My Ex Has Custody and Wants to Relocate?

One of the primary components of a parenting plan is determining where the custodial parent will live with the children. Moving to a new house within the school district is one thing, and you may not object. Generally, your ex-spouse should share their new contact information.

However, relocating to an entirely new place, outside the child’s current school district, or a new state is different. Moving out of state impacts the lives of everyone involved, and it would help to have legal involvement to avoid contravening the parenting plan. Consult men’s child custody attorneys in Montgomery County for legal guidance on how to handle the issue.

Review the Terms in the Child Custody Order

Child custody issues can be overwhelming, especially if unfamiliar with the legal system. So, you should first understand what is in the order before determining the steps to take concerning an out-of-state move by your ex-spouse. Child custody often falls into two categories, namely:

  • Physical custody: It determines where the child will spend most of their time and gives the parent with physical custody responsibility over the child’s legal needs. 
  • Legal custody: The parent with legal custody has a say on significant matters affecting the child’s life, such as education, medical treatment, and religious training. 

In this case, your ex-wife has physical custody of the children, and you both share legal custody. So, the court may restrict your ex’s ability to move with the child if you object to it, but the court may not automatically deny her request. Skilled men’s child custody attorneys in Montgomery County can help you present a strong case demonstrating why your children should not be relocated. 

What Does the Court Consider in Making a Move-Away Determination?

The court will first determine the parent with the primary custody of the children. Generally, this parent can move with the child if:

  • The relocation doesn’t interfere with the current custody and visitation orders
  • The custodial parent lets the other parent know about the relocation

The law requires the parent that wants to relocate to a place that interferes with the parenting time to ask the court to permit them to move with the child. You must seek court intervention if your ex-spouse wants to relocate without a court order. Montgomery County men’s child custody attorneys can help you fight this battle to protect your rights. 

When Can the Court Allow a Child to Move to a New Location with a Parent?

Another thing the court will consider is if the physical custody order is a “permanent order.” A permanent custody order is made as part of the divorce decree, the final papers that end your divorce case. If the custody order is permanent, the court will:

  • Grant the parent with sole physical custody permission to move with the child unless you have a reasonable belief that moving away will put the child at risk of harm. 
  • Deny the parent with joint physical custody permission to move away with the child unless the parent can show that doing so is in the child’s best interest.

The Best Interest of the Child Standard

The primary intention of the court is to support and protect a child’s best interest. Often when parents go to court with disputes over relocation matters, the court will rule in favor of not disrupting the children’s lives more than necessary. So, your ex-spouse must convince the court why moving is the best option for the child. 

On your part, you have to prove why relocation is not in the child’s best interest. Montgomery County fathers’ rights attorneys can help you prove that not moving has the following benefits for the children:

  • Maintains their health and safety 
  • Enhance consistency in their environment and routine 
  • Doesn’t impair their bond with you 
  • It could be what the children want

Courts recognize the paramount need for continuity and stability in a child’s life and would hesitate to disrupt the status quo. 

Seek Legal Guidance From an Experienced Fathers’ Rights Attorney

Move-away issues can be complex to navigate after a divorce, especially when the custodial parent wants to take the children with them. The move can deny you your right to spend time with your children and could be a violation of the parenting plan issued in the divorce decree. To protect yourself and your children, you can get a court order to stop the move based on the circumstances.

Skilled Montgomery County men’s child custody attorneys at our law firm can help you. We can investigate the case to determine why your ex wants to relocate. If the move is merely to scar the relationship with your children, we can fight to show cause as to why the court should stop the relocation. Book a case evaluation with us as soon as possible.