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What if a Co Parent Moves Out of State?

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Everyone has the right to travel. It is a constitutional right imbued in every citizen and should not be impeded upon by anyone. No one can tell you that you cannot move to another State if it is what you have decided to do. That is one of the fundamental rights you have as an American citizen.

But this doesn’t come without limitations, and one of those is that if you are divorced, and you wish to take your children with you. Moving out of State with your children can be an issue whether you decide on it while your divorce case is pending or after your decree has been finalized.


If you decide to move out of State with your children during the pendency of your divorce case, this can look an awful lot like you are doing so for the purpose of escaping your case or taking your children away from your ex. So this is a serious matter that the courts are going to look into intently before deciding whether or not the children should be permitted to move with you. 


If your divorce case has been finalized and you already have a co-parenting plan in place, the courts will have to look at several factors to help them determine if moving to another State would be in your child’s best interest. 

Some things they will consider and ask are:

  • Do you have family in the State you want to move to?
  • Do you have a better job opportunity there?
  • Are there school opportunities for the kids there that are better than the ones they are currently attending?
  • What type of community will the children have?
  • Will the children have relatives in that State?

The criteria that the courts follow is always the child’s best interest, whether you’re moving out pre- or post-decree. The wellbeing of your child supersedes yours — so it does not matter if you have good opportunities in another State. What matters is if your child will have the best quality of life where you decide to move. That is what the courts will always be protecting. 

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Of Counsel - Domestic Relations


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