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OUR FOUNDING ATTORNEY, RHONDA PATTERSON

Can you move with your kids after divorce?

After you divorce, you might be looking for a fresh start somewhere else. However, moving can be more complicated if you and your former spouse have children together, especially if you plan to move out of North Carolina.

This is because both parents usually have rights and responsibilities regarding their children. Even if you are the custodial parent, the other parent may have visitation rights and/or the right to help make decisions about your child’s upbringing. Depending on your situation, relocating with your child could infringe on these rights and deny your child the ability to maintain a healthy relationship with his or her other parent.

Although moving with your child may be more complicated than you realized, it may not be impossible. To make it happen, you may need to ask the other parent for permission. You may also need to convince a judge that the move is in your child’s best interests before a judge will agree to modify your current child custody agreement.

A judge can consider any relevant factor when determining your child’s best interests. Your child’s safety and welfare will likely be the judge’s primary concern. However, some other factors a judge may consider, include:

  • The effects the relocation could have on your custody arrangement
  • Your child’s need to have both parents in his or her life
  • What benefits the move may offer your child
  • Why you want to move with your child

Every situation is different, so the best way to approach your relocation may depend entirely on your situation. However, moving with a child after divorce can be complicated, so it can be prudent to make sure your thoroughly understand your legal rights before you commit to any actions.