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When Can a Parent Take a Child Out of State?

9.23.19_Holman_When can a parent take a child out of state_100P.pngIf you are going through a divorce that involves children, it's important to be aware of the laws involved. You may have relocated due to your spouse's job and are now looking to move back home closer towards family to get your new life back on track. However, if this relocation is taking place out of state this can be a very complicated matter. During a divorce or child custody, there are arrangements that are made in the children's best interest. These will include how legal and physical custody between parents will be shared.

Legal custody over children includes the right to make important decisions regarding the child's health, education and welfare. A parent who is awarded physical custody has the right and responsibility of keeping, supervising and caring for the child. However, it is common for most parents to share joint legal custody, which means each parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the child/children. But, in terms of physical custody, the division will vary greatly depending on each case and the state of which the case is taking place.

Child Relocation Laws

It's common for court-ordered custody arrangements to work well for years for parents who live in the same area. However, there are some instances where the custodial parent wants to move to another town or out-of-state. So, what happens during this circumstance and the noncustodial parent opposes the move because it will mean they get to spend less time with their children?

Typically in this event, the custodial parent will have to go to court and request permission from the judge to move the child or children out-of-state. Cases involving moving children away are typically the most difficult type of custody disputes. However, the Holman Law Firm is experienced and able to handle the difficulty these types of cases present.

Generally, a parent is not able to move a child to another state without approval from the same court that issued the custody order. If a parent chooses to move a child without permission and against the noncustodial parent's wishes, a judge can issue a section with a contempt order. This contempt order may include fines and/or jail time.

Parents That Agree to Relocate

If the parents can come to an agreement regarding the relocation, a judge may approve it as long as it meets the child's best interest. Parents who do agree with an out-of-state relocation of their child or children must sign a written agreement known as a stipulation and consent agreement. Parents who fail to come to an agreement will be required to hire a co-parenting counselor to help them come to an agreement. If they fail to come to an agreement, they will have to file a petition asking the court for permission to relocate.

What the Courts Take into Consideration

Every state has its own set of laws and regulations that will be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not relocating will be approved. However, most courts typically consider whether the relocation will be a benefit to the child and will improve the quality of life if the following are the reason for the move:

● A new job or increased income for the custodial parent

● Moving in closer proximity to the custodial parent's extended family

● Educational opportunity

● New marriage

Contact the Holman Law Firm

If you and your child/children's parent cannot seem to come to an agreement regarding relocation, you should reach out to an attorney to help you through the process. The Holman Law Firm is committed to providing the best legal service in Pensacola, Destin, Pace and Cantonment, FL in a variety of legal areas including Family Law and Personal Injury. We will represent your interests so you can continue your relationship with your children, even if they no longer live with you or near you. Please call us at 850-435-6909 for a free initial consultation. 

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