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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31737
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have been divorced from my husband years. I have

Customer Question

I have been divorced from my husband for 4 years. I have physical custody of both children although one has now aged out of our custody agreement. I am engaged to a man who lives in another city about 3 hours away and I am moving with my 14 year old to be with him so that my daughter can start high school in the fall. My custody agreement only gives him visitation on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Father's Day. At his request during the custody negotiations he removed all visitation except for those holidays. He does not see her on a regular basis. Does not request overnights, dinners, weekend outings, etc. - you get the picture. My question - can he keep me from moving? The divorce was not amicable and he is vindictive.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'm a Family Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Does your court order require you to get permission from the court before you move? Often, court orders require this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My court order does not address it at all.
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Thanks.
Generally, you must file a motion for permission to move out of state with the child becaue the court could lose jurisdiction over the child AND because the move will likely affect the non-custodial parent's ability to exercise visitation and whatever other custody rights are available to him.
Thus, you should consider filing a petition for authority to relocate and get a court order granting the request instead of moving and not informing the court. Generally, courts will grant the request when it is in the best interest of the child/ren.....and since you are the custodial parent and because you have taken care of the child on a daily basis, it is likely the court would approve the move and then re-do the visitation schedule to accommodate the distance between the child and father.
Obviously, the father could object, but it's always a matter of whatever is best for the child.....and it is usually best for the child to maintain residence with the spouse he/she has been with UNLESS there's a compelling reason to do otherwise.
So, the father could attempt to object to the move, and there is a possibility that he could win, but it is very unlikely.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not moving out of State, I'm moving 3 hours away within the same State. Does that change your answer. I fail to see why I need to get the court's permission when he does not have visitation outside of the three holidays and this move does not affect his ability to see her per the visitation schedule
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Even if you're not moving out of state, the move could affect his visitation rights - - and even if he doesn't exercise those rights now - - he still has them pursuant to the court order. Thus, he could object and ask the court to prohibit the move.
But, if he doesn't exercise his rights, that would be solid proof in your favor and would show that he should not get in the way of your desire to move.
If you don't ask the court for permission to move, it could just result in you being ordered back with the it is usually better to ask for permission before making the transition.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Roger, I appreciate your time however I'm still unclear on this issue. He has NO visitation per the court order, outside of three holidays. Relocation is not addressed in the court order. If I notify him of the move and address the fact that his current visitation is not affected why petition the court. I will do so if absolutely necessary however, I am moving in early August - what is my recourse if the court does not respond before I move?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
If the current order doesn't require you to request permission to move, then you're not under a court's order to do so....but sometimes it is easier to ask for permission rather than forgiveness after the fact. But, the worst that would likely happen is you'd be required to return with the child.
Like I said above, it is not probable that the court would require you to return, but it is you'll just have to decide whether you'd rather take the chance as opposed to getting permission from the court.

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