Is my former spouse allowed to move away?

| Mar 4, 2020 | Family Law |

While the divorce process itself can be very challenging, the aftermath of a divorce can yield many obstacles as well. It’s unreasonable to believe that we will always live in the same place for our entire lives, and moving to another state can be like a new start.

If you and your former spouse have children, moving might not be a simple process. If your former spouse wishes to move, a court cannot keep them from moving. The court may, however, determine whether your child can move with them.

How Existing Custody Orders Can Impact Relocation

There are typically two options in North Carolina when one parent wants to move away:

  • Both parents agree on the relocation:You might understand your former spouse’s reasons for moving,  and may even approve of the decision. However, you would still need to request approval from the court to modify your existing custody order to reflect the new changes.
  • You and your former spouse do not agree on the relocation:Your former spouse can file with the court to gain approval for relocation, but they would still need to notify you that they were doing so. If you do not agree to the move, you can contest the relocation, in which case the courts will make the final decision to approve or deny your former spouse’s request.

North Carolina makes custody decisions based on the child’s best interests. If moving away will not harm your child’s well-being, then a judge may approve of your former spouse’s intent to move. For example, if your child is facing trouble at school, a new environment may give your child a fresh start that could help them thrive. In this case, a judge could grant your former spouse permission to move with your child, despite your objection.

Relocation with your children can have a dramatic effect on your life going forward. You deserve to exercise your custodial rights to continue to be a part of your child’s life. It’s also important to consider your child’s wishes. With knowledge of your parental rights, you can seek a solution that will work best for your family.

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