Moving Out Of State After Filing For Divorce? What To Consider

After making it through a divorce, it’s not uncommon for one to start thinking about building a brand-new life for themselves.

For many, this might even include moving to an entirely different state. 

But if the newly divorced couple has children together, moving out of state after divorce might not be the best choice for the child. In fact, the ex-spouse may even object to the idea and open up a whole new world of problems for other.

If you are thinking about moving out of state after filing for divorce, here are some important things you need to consider.

Your Divorce Case Stays in the County in Which It Was Filed

If you are thinking about moving after filing for your divorce or filing for divorce after moving out of state, it is important to realize that your case doesn’t follow you. It stays in the county where it was filed. So, if you move out of state, or even just a few counties away, you will need to commute back to your old hometown for every court date until your divorce is final. 

You May Need a Court Order to Move

If you have a child with your ex and you want to move out of state after filing for divorce, you might not be able to do so without a court order. This is because your legal custody agreement or visitation order is an official command from the court. It details specific places and times when the other parent has a legal right to see the children. Moving out of state will significantly impair that schedule, so the order must be modified before you can do it.

Whether You Have Joint or Sole Custody Can Matter

Sole physical custody gives one parent the final word on many of their children’s decisions, such as where the children live, where they go to school, how they get health care, and more. Depending on the visitation rights of the other parent, the parent with custody may be able to petition the court for a simple modification, called a “move-away order,” if they want to move out of state after the divorce. This is done by filing a motion with the court and serving the other parent to give them a chance to object. If the other parent objects, then the case will usually be determined in family court.

On the other hand, if both parents have joint physical custody, the power over the children is shared. This means that decisions pertaining to the children must be made together. In this situation, the final decision regarding one parent’s desire to relocate usually comes down to the perceived best interests of the children as decided by the court. 

The court typically starts from whatever the current visitation schedule is, and then works out the children’s best interests from that. Traditionally, the court usually chooses the solution that is least disruptive for the children.

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