February 1, 2017
The only constant in life is change.
Most of us don’t end up with our high school or college sweetheart. Even fewer of us stay with the same company or in the same location all our working lives, and that equals a lot of moving.
Single folks can pick up and go at the drop of a hat, but divorced parents have a responsibility to their children. And even their exes at times.
So, if your ex-spouse is thinking about taking your kids out of state, whether simply for a visit or a more permanent relocation, it’s important to know your rights. You may have a legal recourse to keep your kid close.
Before a Case is Filed
Unfortunately, there isn’t always a recourse if the move happens before any papers have been filed.
If your spouse takes the child across the border to Georgia or even Texas prior to any divorce and other child custody case being filed, there’s likely little you can do about it. You both have equal rights as parents. The move isn’t considered an abduction by the civil or criminal courts.
Your only play may be an ex parte order from a judge. However, they won’t grant one for a simple hardship. You’ll be tasked with proving there is an imminent risk to the child or the move was made with the intent of evading jurisdiction.
The circumstances could change if you file for divorce quickly after the move. That court could well become the state of jurisdiction depending on you and your spouse’s residency, and he or she will be forced to return with the kids.
And if you’re the one moving the child, consider that the court may not look favorably on a preemptive move without good cause.
Once a case is filed, the courts will have the same power as just described. That power will withstand until the case is resolved.
Post Custody Action
Everything will depend on the court’s final order or your separation agreement.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, you and your ex will have to follow the court’s order. And remember that if one part is awarded physical custody, that party will likely be trusted by the courts in case the order is ambiguous.
That’s why it’s important to weigh these possibilities when negotiating a separation agreement. If you leave it up to the courts, you’ll no longer have a say. Sometimes it’s best to strike a deal that includes a provision that no parent can remove the child without prior assent than to leave your children’s residence to chance.
Child custody issues can get complicated in law and emotion quickly. The attorneys at King Law understand the issues at hand and will fight for your rights. Call 1-888-748-KING today to schedule your consultation.