Divorce is a stressful process, even more so when you are a parent to minor children. If you are thinking about getting divorced or are in the process of getting divorced, you might be dreaming of building a new life for yourself out of state. This desire to start over might lead you to ask, can I move out of state with my child during a divorce? Before doing anything, you will want to hire a knowledgeable Lawrenceville family lawyer who can inform you of your rights and restrictions. You can’t simply move your child out of state if you don’t have full custody of them. Instead, you must go through the proper channels.

What if One Parent Wants to Move Out of State Before Divorce is Final in Georgia?

If one parent wants to move with the child while the divorce is still pending, they must obtain the other parent’s written consent. Without a child custody order in place, both parents still have equal rights over the child, so one cannot just take them out of state and assume that it’s okay.

Alternatively, the parent wishing to move could request a temporary custody order from the family court, asking legal permission to move out of state with their child. However, the requesting parent should know that if the court grants this temporary order, it will only last until the court grants either parent a final child custody order. It’s possible that the final custody order could give the other parent custody or grant joint custody.

Legal Requirements for Relocating with Child Custody

By law, if a custodial parent wants to move out of Georgia with their child, they must notify the other parent at least 30 days before the move and also provide the full address of their new intended residence. In addition, the same information should also be given to anyone else with legal visitation rights to the child, such as grandparents.

If the non-custodial parent agrees to the move, both parents must put their agreement in writing, and it must be notarized, and a new court order for visitation is issued. An experienced Lawrenceville family law attorney can assist in drawing up such a written agreement.

Suppose the non-custodial parent disagrees with the relocation or wants to adjust the child custody order. In that case, they should request that the family court modify the current custody order.

Parents should know that a child custody modification won’t stop the relocating parent from moving. However, it may change the existing custody order so the relocating parent can’t take the child with them.

After filing a modification petition, the court will decide whether to change the child custody order in relation to the move. The courts will always do what is in the child’s best interests. If the court doesn’t believe moving out of state is in the child’s best interest, they won’t grant the order.

Questions about Parental Relocation During Divorce? Contact an Experienced Lawrenceville Family Law Attorney Today

If you have questions about custody, parental rights, and relocation during or after a divorce, contact a Lawrenceville family law attorney at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland. Schedule a case consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling 404-301-7980, completing our online form, or emailing us at banksstubbs@newtomedia.com.


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