Even the custodial parent with sole legal and physical custody of a minor child cannot simply move the child out of state without a pre-existing court order permitting the relocation.
How Can You Relocate with Your Child after a Divorce?
If you wish to move with your child to another state, it is imperative that you either reach an agreement with the noncustodial parent or obtain a court order approving the location. Attempting to move out of North Carolina without consent of the other parent or the court can cause you major legal issues and cause damage in any later child custody proceeding.
Is Permission Required for Every Move?
As a general rule, permission is usually not required to relocate within the state of North Carolina. To ensure that you can make a move you want to make, you want to ensure that the court order includes the place you want to move. The court order should consist of specific terms for how far you can travel or relocate with your child without asking court authority to do so. If there aren’t any specifics, you should assume that you will need consent from the noncustodial parent or the court. Working with a family law attorney can ensure that this is handled efficiently and painlessly.
If the NCP Agrees to the Move, Is That Sufficient?
If a noncustodial parent agrees to the relocation, the relocating parent should take that agreement to the court and obtain court approval through an amendment to the custody order for it. If there is no pre-existing custody order, it is prudent to get the court to approve the relocation agreement and enter an order.
What if the NCP Disagrees?
If the noncustodial parent disagrees with the relocation, you will have to go back to court to seek approval for the relocation. You will need to file a motion to modify custody. Once again, the court’s decision will be based upon whether it is in the child’s best interest. To decide this, the court will look at:
- Your reasons for the relocation
- How the relocation may improve the child’s life
- The likelihood that a custody and visitation schedule can be arranged to preserve the relationship with the NCP
- Your ability and intent to comply with the order once the child is moved out of state
- The reasons for the NCP’s disagreement
Call Us Today to Speak with a Family Law Lawyer in North Carolina
If you have questions about relocating your child, you should contact an experienced family law attorney. To schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable child custody attorney, call Remington & Dixon today at 704-247-7110.
- Noncustodial Parent – What It Means and What You Need to Know
- How to Track Child Support Payments: Here’s What You Need to Know
Child Relocation FAQs
How can the NCP oppose the relocation?
Who Pays for the Expenses Caused by the Relocation?
How Far Is Too Far to Move Without a Court Order?
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.