Am I Able to Take My Children Out of the State After Divorce?

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Am I Able to Take My Children Out of the State After Divorce?

When there are children involved in a divorce, situations tend to become more complicated. During your divorce proceedings, you will have to determine custody and visitation schedules, if applicable. These determinations will depend on the requirements for out-of-state travel or a permanent move. It’s best to be safe rather than sorry when children are involved in a divorce, so consider working with an attorney to discuss whether you are permitted to travel across state lines with your children after your divorce. 

Types of Custody

One of the main determinants of whether you are permitted to take your children out of the state after divorce is the type of custody that you retain over them. There are four main types of custody. The first is legal custody which refers to either one or both parents having the right to make legal decisions for their children. This includes situations like religion and school locations. Legal custody often goes hand in hand with physical custody which refers to the location where the child permanently resides. Physical custody may be either sole or joint. Next, sole custody is when one parent has complete physical and/or legal custody of their child. On the other hand, joint custody indicates that both parents will share physical and/or legal custody of their child. 

In situations of joint custody, you may be required to discuss your intention to travel out of the state with the other parent due to visitation schedules. However, if you have sole custody of your children, you may not need permission to travel from a co-parent. The Customs and Border Patrol recommends carrying paperwork associated with your sole legal custody while traveling in the case of a dispute. 

Temporary Vacations

If you want to take your children on a temporary vacation outside of your state of residence and you don’t have sole legal custody over them, you may require permission from the co-parent. This exclusively depends on what your custody order or parenting plan details. Some orders may not strictly require co-parents to grant permission to travel out of the state. However, many other orders will require such consent. When there is no travel plan detailed in your custody plan, it is better to obtain consent than deal with potential repercussions down the line. If you are unsure about whether there are travel requirements detailed in your parenting plan, consider consulting an attorney. 

Permanent Move

A permanent move is one in which your state of residence will change. Both state laws and parenting plans may require the parent intending to move with the children to consult the court and receive a court order for permission to move out of state after divorce. If the co-parent agrees to permit the move, the court will rarely challenge the move. However, if the other parent objects, moving permanently may pose difficulties if there is joint physical custody. A family law attorney may help you request a court order to move states permanently with your children. 

Work With a Family Law Attorney Today

Traveling or moving with children across state lines can be difficult if custody is shared with a co-parent. Consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your options. The lawyers at Lucido & Manzella, P.C., are knowledgeable and can make sure you are following the appropriate orders. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

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