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Coathom, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19
Experience:  Familiar with divorce, property distribution, custody, and child support issues.
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Can my wife just leave the state (SC) and take them to florida

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Can my wife just leave the state (SC) and take them to florida - against my wishes - and could I do the same thing? So if parents are not getting along is it wise to be the first one to make a move and take the kids and have them until a custody arrangement is set up by law? and once one of the parents do this - what can the other parent do about this?

Even prior to a custodial agreement, there are presumed custody rights that both you and your wife have. If you or your wife takes your children out of the state without the other's permission, it will be what's called "Custodial Interference" (SC SECTION 16-17-495), which is a felony. This charge exists even before a formal custody agreement is reached.


You will have to options here: 1) File a "Motion to Produce Child" in court. If she does not appear, you may seek to retain sole custody. 2) If she leaves, file Custodial Interference and Kidnapping charges against her simultaneous with the Motion noted in 1.


Do NOT attempt "self-help" by taking the children out of the state. It could end with a prison sentence and the forfeit of all parental rights.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

So this only applies if she takes out of state - what if she takes to another location in state SC? do I have the same rights of action - 1) and 2) of your answer


Thank you so much for the prompt answer

If she is moving the children within the state, you still have the right to make a Motion to Produce the Children. The criminal charges are still available, but are harder to prove. There is a presumption that she would be attempting to interfere with your custody if she takes them out of the state. Otherwise you need to prove that she has the "intent to circumvent or avoid the custody proceeding to take or transport, or cause to be taken or transported, the child for the purpose of concealing the child, or circumventing or avoiding the custody proceeding." (Language of the statute).


So "yes" you have the same rights even within the state.

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