Can Your Spouse Move Out of State if You Still Have Child Custody?

Often the most frustrating thing about child custody agreements, outside of not being able to see your children all the time, is that life circumstances do not stay the same. Your spouse may decide to move or may have to move for work-related reasons. However, even if you do not have primary custody, but still have visitation, can they take the child out of state without your input?

If you have discovered that your ex-spouse is preparing to move from Minnesota without your permission, they are in the wrong. Whether you have joint custody over a child or one parent has sole physical custody, in order to relocate out of state, the primary custody holder must first get a court order to do so.

If you do not give your permission for your child to relocate, the primary custody holder will need to bring a motion before the court in which proves that the relocation is necessary. The court will take into account the opinion of the other parent. It is typically very unlikely that the courts will prevent the move altogether, but rather they will help work out the continued balance of parenting time. The non-relocating parent may get longer periods of parenting time because of the expense of travel.

However, if you are dead set against the relocation of your child, you can attempt to prove to the court that the move would be in your child’s detriment. Perhaps they have special needs and are adverse to change or they are enrolled in a special program that enhances their education. If you can prove that their education, way of life, or safety will be negatively impacted by the move, the courts will often rule against relocation.

Unfortunately, proving relocation will be disadvantageous to your child is a very difficult case. However, if you firmly believe that it is against the best interests of your child, then contact us today. Child custody is a difficult issue, but you have the right to be involved in your child’s life.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.