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How to Stop a Custodial Parent From Moving Out of State

by Kimberly Turtenwald

In some cases where the parents are no longer together, one parent may wish to move across state lines with the child. It may be because her family lives in another state or she is just looking for a fresh start. However, even after a divorce or breakup, a child has the right to have a relationship with both parents. Many states include moving stipulations in custody papers to prevent a parent from removing the child from the state without the other parent's permission.

File a motion to stop the move in the same court in which your ex filed her notification. This motion can be made through your lawyer or by filling out the proper forms obtained from the courthouse. The motion serves as your protest against the move. If the move occurred before you were notified, file for an emergency hearing to bring your child back.

Attend the court hearing that is set to determine whether the move should be allowed. The judge will ask your ex to prove that the proposed move benefits the child and does not pose a risk of interfering with the child's relationship with you.

Prepare to show that you have participated in your child's life and have made use of your visitation rights. The judge will take this into consideration. For instance, if your ex is trying to move from one side of the country to the other, it will be harder on the child if you have been a part of the child's life. But if your ex is only moving to the next state, you may be able to continue with your current visitation schedule.

Appeal the decision if you feel the judge made a mistake. It is important to use a lawyer if you decide to appeal because the process is not easy. You are not able to argue your case in an appeal. It is only a review of judgment and whether it follows the laws.

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