Can my wife move out of state with my son without my permission? 28 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I just found out that my wife wants to move to New York with my son, without letting me know. Can I stop that? We are talking about separation and joint custody of our 9 year old son, but today I found out that she is planning to move to New York without letting me know, what can I do to stop this?

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
No parent has the right to unlawfully deny the other parent access to his/her child or children. The parent who unlawfully removes a child or children from the state can be charged with a felony. You should meet with an attorney immediately to draft a temporary custody order and a parenting plan. A parenting plan will prevent a parent from removing a child or children from the jurisdiction without proper notice to the other parent and giving that parent the opportunity to file an objection. Please feel free to call if you need help.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/27/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
File for divorce ASAP and restrict the child's residence. I represent fathers and strongly advocate for father's rights.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/16/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Either parent can take the child where they want to while married. Accordingly, without filing for divorce, I don't know what you could do to prevent her action. If you file for divorce, you would also need to file a petition for an order preventing the move. This sounds like one of those situations where divorce may be your only option. I personally advise my clients to attempt to avoid divorce when children are involved, but there are circumstances that sometimes cannot be avoided. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/15/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You need to immediately file for divorce, separation or custody. Without that filing, she can move without being subject to a court order preventing it. If she does move, you would need to immediately file the same thing but also a motion for a return of the children.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/14/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You should file a petition for dissolution or legal separation and ask the Court to restrain her move.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/14/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes, she can unless you file for a divorce before she leaves. Once you file and have her served the papers she will have to have your consent or permission from the judge. Whether a judge will permit her to remove the child is totally a matter for the judge's discretion based on the facts and circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You should hire an attorney immediately in order to file the appropriate paperwork to keep her from leaving. It is much easier to keep her here, than it is to bring her back. Technically, she is not permitted to move without your consent. However, until there is a court order specifically stating that, she is technically not breaking any laws. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
    Airlines require a signed note from the other parent to fly with a child. Check the airlines for their rules. You say without you knowing, but you know. Yes, you can stop her. Is there divorce in your future? Consult an attorney on your situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Bring a motion immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, you can stop it and you should. She should go to the Family Court and seek permission first and if she doesn't, you may seek custody and perhaps get it based upon her stated intent to leave the state without making preparations for visitation, etc. You can go to court yourself and seek such an Order. Speak to a custody attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    You should immediately file for a dissolution. Once you file and serve the paperwork requesting custody and a divorce, standard restraining orders are in place which will prevent either of you from leaving the state with your children. You should contact an attorney to assist you in this matter as soon as possible. If she moves with your son prior to the time that you file, you may still be able to have your son returned to California, but it will be more difficult to have the child returned than to prevent him from leaving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Do everything the statutes regarding relocation allow; file an objection to relocation, even though she hasn't given you notice, propose a new parenting plan and set a hearing to determine whether she gets to go or not. The court will not be happy with her failure to give notice.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    She can move if no case has been filed and if there are no court orders. If there is no court and no court orders, then, if you want to have a chance of stopping the move, you need to get a divorce action filed as soon as you can. You will also need to ask the court to enter a restraining order preventing both of you from moving out of the state while the cases is on going. If you want to get this going fairly quickly, you will probably have to hire an attorney. Feel free to contact our office to set up a meeting.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL
    Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL | Rhonda R. Werner Schultz
    If you live in Florida, you will need to file for divorce. Your Wife will not be permitted to move without your agreement or a court order if a case is filed in Florida.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that you retain a family law attorney in your community ASAP, before she leaves and discuss all your rights and options concerning a modification action. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If you can afford to, retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to file an Order to Show Cause to oppose your ex-wife's move-away with your son. You are best off if you are proactive in the case, showing how you discovered your ex-wife's clandestine plans to move your son out of state. If your joint custodial timeshare is 35% or greater, your ex-wife would need to prove that it is in the best interests of your son for her to move with your son out of the state, whereas if your joint custodial timeshare is less than 30%, it would be more difficult to prevail in your opposition to her move-away.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assume Oregon law: You had better file immediately if you want to stop your son from being taken. It is harder; not impossible, but harder to get your son back after the move than to prevent it. Call and let my staff know you are a LawQA caller. You need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Depends on who has custody. You will need to file with the court to stop it.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, what you would need to do is file a divorce or legal separation action, and then bring a motion for temporary orders barring the move. Ultimately if she is going to move to New York, the trial court will have to decide whether the place your child with her in New York or with you here, but generally the court will agree to restrain the move of the child pending a decision as to where the child should live.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    This is not a simple question, but your wife can move out of state before divorce proceedings are filed; if this happens you should retain an attorney to file for a divorce as quickly as possible and discuss how you might be able to get the court to order that the child be brought back to Georgia. However, once someone moves it can be very difficult to get the child back. If you file for divorce before she moves, in Georgia it is likely that a standing order would be issued prohibiting the child from leaving the State until the divorce and custody issues are resolved. You need to consult with a family law attorney to discuss the options under various scenarios.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    To legally relocate with the child, she must comply with the provisions of the Parental Relocation statute (Chapter 61.13001) of the Florida Statutes. If you believe that a move is imminent, you should contact a family law attorney in your area and get something filed as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Immediately file a motion with the court to establish custody orders, including orders that the child cannot be taken out of state without the other parents permission. If you file for legal separation, as suggest in your question below, then the automatic restraining orders preventing out of state travel with a child will go into effect the moment the "respondent" is "served" with the legal separation petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    File for divorce (or legal separation or petition to establish custody and support) and file a motion for custody and visitation immediately. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Get a lawyer and file a case immediately. Then it will be up to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    You need to meet with a domestic relations attorney fast. Tomorrow is not too soon, and may in fact be too late. Usually in Ohio, you need an action like divorce or separation for a court to intervene on where a child can or cannot be taken. This takes time and that is one thing you do not have.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    With a threat like this, you need to be in court Monday morning obtaining a restraining order. If you fail to timely take this precaution you are risking allowing a case to be opened in New York, where you will have to travel to, to litigate the case. This is serious business wherein a failure to take heed could be the costliest, most devastating mistake of your life. I cannot declare the seriousness of this, and I have personally been involved with many cases of this nature. Do not think for one second it could not happen to you. In fact consider yourself blessed that you found out about the issue. Usually when this happens, the person fleeing is smart enough to keep their mouth shut until they and the child(ren) are gone. Now, she has let the "cat out of the bag" and made the mistake of revealing her plans. DO NOT make a mistake yourself. Pick up the telephone right this second and telephone me to commence your protection. Alternatively, enjoy the consequences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Palomino Law Firm, P.C.
    Palomino Law Firm, P.C. | Debra Palomino
    You need to file for divorce now, before she leaves. Arizona will retain jurisdiction over custody issues unless your child is gone for 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/13/2011
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