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CHILD CUSTODY LAWS & RELOCATION OUT-OF-STATE

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.

  1. You cannot interfere with visitation time assigned to the other parent's schedule.
  2. 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 and compassionate.

Contact us as soon as you need legal help - we make ourselves available 24/7 for our clients.

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:

  1. You cannot take your child out-of-state for any length of time if your divorce, child custody, or visitation order is still pending.
  2. You cannot interfere with visitation time assigned to the other parent's schedule.
  3. 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 and compassionate.

Contact us as soon as you need legal help - we make ourselves available 24/7 for our clients.

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TJC • ESQ

TJC • ESQ
76 Westminster Street, Suite 420
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401-400-4254
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