Anyone that has moved to a new household across state lines can tell you
how difficult it was compared to the already-frustrating situation created
by a move of any distance. Matters become all the more complex if
child custody and
visitation orders following a
divorce get tangled up as well. If you have found yourself in such a situation,
you have probably asked yourself, “Can I move across state lines
with my child after a divorce?” Perhaps it comes as no surprise
to learn that the answer depends on a few variables.
Study Your Divorce Agreement Closely
There are no two divorces that are completely identical, and so there will
be no two child custody orders and visitation schedules that are exactly
the same. If you want to move out-of-state with your child after a divorce,
you are going to need to understand your own divorce agreement in detail.
More likely than not, you can’t do it – not permanently, anyway.
The average divorce agreement will mention that moving out-of-state or
anywhere that is more than 100 road miles away from your ex-spouse will
require their approval, or that of the court. Depending on the how your
divorce ended, you might be able to just talk with your ex-spouse about
why it is so important, get their acceptance, and start packing. Otherwise,
if they resist, you need permission straight from a judge following a
legal hearing. Keep in mind that a judge won’t allow you to make a
post-divorce modification to custody or visitation unless you can prove it will benefit your child
greatly enough to justify the big change.
Getting Approval for Temporary Travel
Leaving the state only temporarily with your child may be a different matter.
Once again, review your divorce agreement to see if there is any wording
about temporary travel. If there isn’t any mention of it, there
are three provisions that are probably in place, despite being unspoken:
- You cannot take your child out-of-state for any length of time if your
divorce, child custody, or visitation order is still pending.
- You cannot interfere with visitation time assigned to the other parent’s schedule.
- You cannot leave the state without first notifying your ex-spouse and confirming
they understand your intention.
Traveling out-of-state with your child after divorce is going to be a delicate
situation, no matter if you plan to permanently move or temporarily travel,
such as for a vacation. You must approach it deliberately so you do not
violate any rules set by your divorce agreement and land yourself in legal
trouble. To move forward with confidence, you should retain the services
of TJC ESQ. Our Rhode Island family lawyers have more than 30 years of
combined legal experience and a strong reputation for being both knowledgeable
Contact us as soon as you need legal help – we make ourselves available 24/7
for our clients.