Can my wife take the kids and move to another state? - Child Custody Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can my wife take the kids and move to another state?

I am still married. My wife is talking about leaving and taking children with her to another state. Can she do that without my consent? And if she does what are my rights?

Answer By William Spern

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Unless their is a divorce action pending, the mother of children may leave the state and take the children with her. You should see a divorce lawyer immediately to establish your rights and either bar or restrict your wife's pending conduct.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/12/2011

Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC
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In Arizona, as long as you are married, either parent may remove children from the state. Once a Petitioner for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, something called a Preliminary Injunction is issued which prevents either parent from taking minor children common to the marriage out of the state without the written consent of the other parent or a court order. The Preliminary Injunction is effective with regard to the Petitioner (the person filing for divorce) as soon as it is issued and is effective with regard to the Respondent (the person answering a complaint) once it is served. If your wife leaves and takes the children to another state and nothing has been filed, you should immediately file for divorce and request emergency orders or expedited temporary orders requiring her to immediately return the children to Arizona, pending the outcome of the divorce. If she ultimately wants move to another state and take the children with her, she will need to prove that a move is in the best interests of the children pursuant to A.R.S. Section 25-408 and 25-403.

Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 12/7/2011

Answer By Roy L. Reeves
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
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Unless there is a court order, both you and your wife have equal rights. That includes the right to take the kids and move. If you want to stop it, file a petition for divorce and get temporary restriction on the residence of the children.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/7/2011

Answer By H. Scott Basham

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If she does that without a court's permission, she may subject herself to the state and federal laws dealing with parental kidnapping. If you truly think she might do that, contact an attorney as soon as possible. You need to file something to enjoin her from taking your children to another state.

Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/6/2011

Answer By John Kirchner
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
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She can if you don't start a divorce/custody case to decide which parent has what decision-making authority. Until there is a court-ordered parenting plan, there are no limits on what either parent can do legally.

Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 12/6/2011

Answer By Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
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If you are on the brink if filing your divorce petition, you should also file a motion requesting that the children's residence remain in your county and the state of California. You should also ask for joint legal custody and to set up the parenting time share plan.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2011

Answer By Joanna Mitchell
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
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If you do not consent, the only way you can stop her is to immediately file for divorce. Once the divorce is filed and served on her, then an administrative order will go into effect (in most jurisdictions) that prevents her from relocating without either your written consent or prior court approval.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/6/2011

Answer By James Miller
Law Office of James L. Miller
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Unfortunately if there are no court orders in place either parent is free to move the children around. If your wife is leaving for good you should file for separation or divorce that way you will be able to obtain custody and visitation orders. Also with court orders neither parent can take the child out of state for the purpose of changing their residence without a court order. J

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2011

Answer By Laurie Peters
Law Offices of Laurie Peters
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Unless you file for dissolution or legal separation she is free to move about the country. Once she is served with papers for dissolution or legal separation then automatic restraining orders go into effect that keep her from taking the children out of the state without your written consent or a court order. If she does move without your consent and there are no restraining orders, you can still seek to have the children returned but it gets more difficult and there will be dueling issue of jurisdiction. If the children remain in another state long enough, another state may acquire jurisdiction over the children.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2011

Answer By Tina Fox
Fox Law Firm LLC
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If there is not a court order stating otherwise, then yes she can. If you think she is serious about doing so, you need to petition the court for joint custody and within it the petition have the court order her to stay in the state of IL.

Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/6/2011

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