Can my wife take the kids and move to another state? 27 Answers as of December 12, 2011

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?

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Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
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
Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC | Lenore Tsakanikas
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
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
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
H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
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: 12/7/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
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: 12/7/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    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: 12/7/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    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: 12/7/2011
    Law Office of James L. Miller
    Law Office of James L. Miller | James Miller
    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: 12/7/2011
    Law Offices of Laurie Peters
    Law Offices of Laurie Peters | Laurie Peters
    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: 12/7/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    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: 12/7/2011
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Nope! Either you will need to consent, or she will need a court order. The court will grant her permission only after she presents a visitation schedule that is "reasonable".
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/7/2011
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    Generally, so long as there is not an order in place keeping her from doing so she can do so. Once a divorce action is filed, she would be markedly less able to do so. Many courts have standing orders that prohibit movement during the divorce case. Absent such a standing order, courts will generally enter an injunction prohibiting movement of the children during the divorce case. Longer term, it is common for courts to approve of geographic restrictions confining the primary residence of the children to a county or several contiguous counties. The best advice I could give on this is to file for divorce, whether you are sure you are headed for divorce or not, is to file for divorce. If the court has a standing order, it will take effect immediately. If they do not, I would walk through an application for temporary restraining order that is mutual enjoining either of you from moving the children. That TRO will keep things the way they are until there can be a hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be made a temporary injunction generally two to three weeks. In my opinion, some people can represent themselves in a divorce if it is uncontested and there is no need for injunctive or extraordinary relief. Yours is not that case. I would engage a local lawyer and establish a game plan with her or him.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You must file a divorce or a custody action and, as part of the process, you may file a Motion for immediate temporary relief seeking to have the children returned to the forum state pending a more complete hearing on the issue. Custody determinations are made based on a best interests of the child standard.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    The court doesn't have jurisdiction to enter orders preventing her from moving out of state prior to the filing of a divorce or legal separation. If a divorce or legal separation is filed and the other party is served in AZ, then the other party is not permitted to take the kids out of state while the case is pending without your written consent or an order of the court.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Your rights are the same as hers until a parenting plan or other court order says otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    You need to file for divorce or seperation so that the Court will take jurisdiction and keep the kids here.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Anderson & Boback | Janice L Boback
    You wife cannot move out of the state of Illinois with the children without your consent or a court order allowing her to remove the children from the State.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Law Office of William C. Wood, LLC | William C. Wood
    Yes, she can do that without your consent. You can file for custody and/or divorce and request that the court issue an order keeping the children in Maryland pending the outcome of the case. Whether the court would grant such an order depends on what is in the best interests of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    She can if you let her. If you want to keep her from removing the children from the state, you need to file a court action. Once you file and serve her, she will be automatically restrained from leaving the state with the kids.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    She has the power, and perhaps the right, to do so at this time, but you can prevent her from legally making the move with the children by filing a Divorce case and having it served on her ASAP. The Summons in a Divorce case contains Automatic Restraining Orders which would restrain your wife from taking the children out of the state (among other things). You would best be represented by an experienced Family Law Attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Attorney & Counselor at Law | John Hugger
    Until a Court enters Order regarding the parenting time, both parents are thought to have the ability to take the children temporarily out-of-state. Every state has differing periods of time for the children to be in that state before the new state will enter orders regarding the children.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    She can do this without your consent. You do have the right to take the children back, but of course I do not advocate getting into a "snatching match". If thonged have deteriorated To the point where your wife is talking about leaving the state and taking the children, the you need to immediately consult with a lawyer about filing for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Unless someone has filed for divorce (or another type of family law matter), she can move with the children. If you fear that she will leave, you should file and have her served. That prevents her from leaving legally.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You need to file for a divorce before she leaves. Once a Judgment of Divorce is entered, she will need to get the court to consent to her moving the kids out of State.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/6/2011
    Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC
    Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC | Brook Goddard
    Are you and your wife divorcing? If so, you need to get emergency court orders that set your respective parenting rights and prevents the relocation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/6/2011
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