Can I stop my ex from moving out of state with my child?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Apr 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

After a contested child custody case, divorced parents may still have problems and conflicts. This could involve making visitation more difficult, including moving further away. In some cases, one parent may plan to move out of state and take the children with them. This can make it much more difficult and complicated for the non-custodial parent to see and spend time with their kids.

Taking the children out of state could involve a petition to the court to change the parenting plan to allow the custodial parent to move away with the kids. However, some parents try and move out of state without telling the other parent, in violation of the custody agreement and the law.

Is there a child custody order or child custody plan in place?

It can be more difficult for a parent to stop an ex from leaving the state if there is no child custody plan in place. The parents may not have a child custody plan because they are still awaiting a final divorce and custody judgment. Parents may also be avoiding a formal divorce because of financial or other reasons. However, even without a formal order, a parent may be required to notify the other parent of the intent to move.

When the parents have a child custody plan or court order, the terms of the order generally control when a parent can take a child out of state and under what circumstances. This may depend on which parent has physical custody, whether the parents are sharing custody, and the visitation schedule of the non-custodial parent.

If you have any questions about the process or permission for the custodial parent to move out of state with the child, review your parenting plans and court orders. These should provide for what happens if one parent wants to move out of state. If you have questions about the terms and conditions of your parenting plan, talk to an experienced North Carolina child custody attorney.

Does North Carolina law apply when the child is taken out of state?

A parent cannot generally avoid state laws just by going across state lines. If the child has lived in North Carolina for the prior 6 months, North Carolina is considered the child's home state. North Carolina child custody orders will still generally apply even if the parent tries to leave the state.

Petition to Stop the Move

If the parenting plan or custody orders prevent one parent from moving without getting permission to leave, leaving the state may be a violation of the court's order. Violating the child custody order or parenting plan could be contempt of court and could even result in an arrest or criminal penalties against the parent who violates the court order.

The parent who wants to prevent the move may be able to file a petition to prevent the relocation of the child with the family law court. This may also contain a request for injunctive relief, to prevent the parent from moving until the court has ruled on the issue. Depending on the situation, the parent may want to file an emergency order if they are faced with a surprise or sudden notice of the intent to move.

Jerkins Family Law

If you are facing child custody battles with an ex even after custody and parenting have been decided, Jerkins Family Law can help. Spending time with your child is important for you and your child and one parent should not be able to take that away without your consent. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jerkins Family Law is committed to helping our clients in their time of need. Jerkins Family Law can help you with all your family law needs. Contact us today and see how we can help.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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