Posts Tagged ‘move’

Can my child’s mother move to another state and take my children?

Friday, August 18th, 2017

By: Kristina Beavers

There are two parts to this question.  The answer to the first part is ‘yes’, your child’s mother (or father) can move to another state.  An adult in the United States is free to move anywhere in the country.

A Relocation Case

This is called a ‘relocation’ case in the child custody world and the mother may not be allowed to take the child with her.  In Virginia, there are special criteria to allow a parent to move a child away from the other parent.  A move that would be a benefit to the mother is not always the best thing for the child and the child’s relationship to the other parent.  This is really part of the ‘best interest of the child’ standard.  The courts feel that being allowed access to both parents is usually in the best interest of the child.  But there are additional items that need to be addressed in a relocation case, such as an independent benefit to the child from allowing the move and the history and frequency of contact with the non-custodial parent.  The courts will also look at the child’s contact with local extended family and friends.

I often tell parents that a ‘normal’ custody/visitation case in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDR) is about the only time I might recommend handling a case without an attorney.  However, because of the details that are necessary to prove in a relocation case, I almost always recommend the assistance of an attorney.  It is just too important to leave to chance.

Contact us for more information

If you have questions about this, please contact the office of Beavers Law, P.C. at 757-234-4650 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.  You can also visit us on the web at www.BeaversLaw.com.

Can I move my child to another state?

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

I often get calls from people who want to move to another state and want to know if it’s ok to take their children.

Like most things in law, the answer is ‘it depends’.

In Virginia, if there is any sort of court ordered custody arrangement, you must notify the court and the other parent at least 30 days in advance of when you plan to move.  Why?  So the other parent has a chance to bring this up with the court before you and the child relocate.  Will the court stop you from moving?  It depends on the reasons for the relocation and the ties that the child has to family in his/her current location.  Of course the court can not stop YOU from moving, but they may order that the child not be allowed to move with you.

What if you take the child anyway?  Can the court order you to bring the child back?  The answer is ‘yes’, and if you take the child against the court’s orders this is called kidnapping and it is not something that you should take lightly.

Also, the court order means you need to notify the other parent and the court prior to any move, not just a move to another state.  You also need to notify the court and the other parent if you just move to another town, across town, or even just move next door.

What if you don’t have any sort of court ordered custody?  In that case, either ‘legal’ parent may move and take the child with them.  Which brings up the next question, who is a ‘legal’ parent?

Generally, if the woman is married at the time of birth, her husband is presumed to be the father of the child, and he will be the ‘legal’ father even if everyone knows he is not the biological father.  In order to have this changed, you must go to court to get  paternity established so that another man can become the ‘legal’ father.

In the case of adoption, the court can name a legal mother and/or a legal father who is not related to the child biologically.

If you are a legal parent of the child and there is no court order regarding the custody of that child, then the answer to the question about a move is ‘yes’, you can move your child to another state even if this means moving the child away from the other legal parent.

If you think this might be a problem for you, then you might want to consider getting a court order to establish a custody arrangement.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.