What happens if you want to move out of state and the other parent doesn’t know or doesn’t want the children to go? Well…it depends.
In Georgia, the Court can’t generally enter an order that prohibits you from leaving the state after a final order is entered. But the Court can decide whether the move is in the best interest of the child.
That means you can’t just take the children and move. Generally there are provisions in the Parenting Plan, Settlement Agreement and/or Divorce Decree that require you to provide notice to the other parent before moving with the children. We usually see that the custodial parent should provide 30 days notice (or as soon as practical). But you should check your documents to see what provisions apply to you.
The notice provides time for the non-custodial parent to file a lawsuit with the Court to modify the custody or visitation provisions.
If you are on good terms with the other parent, the two of you may be able to agree on an uncontested modification. That is, maybe the two of you can agree on where the children will stay and how you will change visitation (including transportation). If so, contact an attorney as soon as you have an agreement so everything can be legally done as close to your move as possible.
If not, and the other parent files a modification action, you should discuss the situation with an attorney immediately. Your attorney can assess the specific facts of your case including but not limited to: the reason for the move, the support system in the new state, the benefits to the child in the new state, the child’s wishes regarding the move, and any other relevant factors.
If you find yourself in this situation, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355