Can I Move Out of State with My Child During a Divorce?

Divorce is a stressful process, even more so when you are a parent to minor children. If you are thinking about getting divorced or are in the process of getting divorced, you might be dreaming of building a new life for yourself out of state. This might lead you to wonder if you can go ahead and move out of state with your child. Before doing anything, you will want to hire a knowledgeable Lawrenceville family lawyer who can inform you of your rights and restrictions. You can’t simply move your child out of state if you don’t have full custody of them. Instead, you must go through the proper channels.

What if One Parent Wants to Move Out of State Before Divorce is Final in Georgia?

If one parent wants to move with the child while the divorce is still pending, they must obtain the other parent’s consent in writing. Without a child custody order in place yet, both parents still have equal rights over the child, so one cannot just take them out of state and assume that it’s okay.

Alternatively, the parent wishing to move could request a temporary custody order from the family court, asking legal permission to move out of state with their child. However, the requesting parent should be aware that if the court grants this temporary order, it will only last until a final child custody order is granted to either parent. It’s possible that the final custody order could give the other parent custody or grant joint custody.

Legal Requirements for Relocating with Child Custody

By law, if a custodial parent wants to move out of Georgia with their child, they are required to notify the other parent at least 30 days before the move and also provide the full address of their new intended residence. In addition, the same information should also be given to anyone else with legal visitation rights to the child, such as grandparents.

If the non-custodial parent agrees to the move, both parents are required to put their agreement in writing, and it must be notarized, and a new court order for visitation issued. An experienced Lawrenceville family law attorney can assist in drawing up such a written agreement.

Suppose the non-custodial parent doesn’t agree to the relocation or wants to adjust the child custody order. In that case, they should request that the family court modify the current custody order.

Parents should know that a child custody modification won’t stop the relocating parent from moving. However, it may change the existing custody order so the relocating parent can’t take the child with them.

After a modification petition is filed, the court will decide whether the child custody order should be changed in relation to the move. The courts will always do what is in the child’s best interests. If the court doesn’t believe moving out of state is in the child’s best interest, they won’t grant the order.

Questions about Parental Relocation During Divorce? Contact an Experienced Lawrenceville Family Law Attorney Today

If you have questions about custody, parental rights, and relocation during or after a divorce, contact a Lawrenceville family law attorney at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland. Call us today at 770.887.1209 or use our online form.