Can My Ex-Wife Take My Child Out of State Without Permission in Georgia?

Can My Ex-Wife Take My Child Out of State Without Permission in Georgia?

If your wife wants to move your children out of Georgia, she may have to get permission from the court first. In Georgia, custodial parents must notify their child’s other parent before a move and get the court’s permission. This often includes modifying custody agreements and parenting plans and providing written notifications.

Why Would Your Ex-Wife Want to Move Out of Georgia?

After a divorce, moving out of the state may seem like a good idea, a chance to start over and rebuild your life after ending your marriage. However, for a couple with children, the process isn’t quite so easy.

Moving out of the state may be desirable for many reasons, including:

  • Starting over somewhere new
  • Finding a better job opportunity
  • Getting remarried
  • Being closer to family and support systems
  • Buying a bigger home or finding a better quality of life

No matter the reason, your ex-wife can’t pack up and move with the kids without notifying you and obtaining permission from the court.

Moving Out of State With Kids

Before the court grants permission, you’ll need to modify your child custody agreement. You can do this in three ways.

Reaching an Agreement

The easiest way for your ex-wife to move out of Georgia with your kids after a divorce is to reach an agreement with you. If you’re not opposed to the move, you and your ex can work out the parenting plan details. This often includes figuring out when you’ll see the kids throughout the year and how holidays will work if you’re not living in the same state. Once you and your ex agree on a modified parenting plan, you can file the agreement with the court.

Providing Written Notification

Even if you’ve reached an agreement with your ex, she must still provide a written notice at least 30 days before the move. If you contest this relocation, you can petition the court to block the move. Your children cannot leave the state until the court approves your ex-wife’s move.

Obtaining a Court Order

If you and your ex-wife cannot agree on the move, your case may head to court. The courts will need to examine why your ex wants to move out of the state, and they will decide based on what’s best for the children. Your ex must obtain a court order to take the children out of the state.

Will the Courts Allow the Move?

When deciding whether to allow children to relocate out of state with a custodial parent, Georgia courts must assess whether the move is in the child’s best interests. To do this, they will consider various factors, including:

  • Your ex-wife’s reasons for relocating
  • The child’s age and health
  • Your co-parenting relationship
  • The effect of the move on the child’s standard of living, education, and health
  • Impact on you and your child’s relationship
  • Better employment opportunities in the new state
  • The child’s preference (if they’re over 14)

If the court determines that the move is in the child’s best interests, then the request for a modification of custody to allow for the relocation may be granted.

What If My Wife Wants to Move Before the Divorce is Final?

If your wife wants to relocate with your child before the divorce is finalized, she must obtain your written consent. Without a child custody order, both parents have equal rights over the child, and your written consent is necessary.

Alternatively, your wife could request a temporary custody order from the court, seeking permission to move with the child. This temporary order only remains effective until a final child custody order is granted to either spouse.

Contact Our Atlanta Child Custody Lawyers

If you are concerned that your ex-spouse might be planning to move out of state with your children after a divorce, it is important to take action as soon as possible to protect your parental rights. One of the most effective steps you can take is to consult with an experienced family law attorney in Georgia.

At Hobson & Hobson, P.C., our child custody attorneys can help you understand your legal options and rights and take action to prevent your ex-spouse from moving out of state with your children. Depending on your circumstances, we can help you seek a temporary custody order, negotiate a parenting plan that limits your ex-spouse’s ability to relocate, or take other legal action to protect your parental rights.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action. Contact our law firm today to learn more about how you can protect your relationship with your children and prevent your ex-spouse from moving out of state without your permission. To schedule a consultation and explore your legal options, call us at (770) 284-6153 or fill out our confidential contact form.

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