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Taking a Child Out of State With and Without a Custody Agreement

Before you divorced, you may have been accustomed to traveling anywhere with your child. You may have traveled out of state numerous times. After a divorce, however, you no longer have that freedom. If you share custody of your children with the other parent, then you likely have a custody agreement in place that prevents you from traveling outside state borders with your children.

This may seem restrictive, but it is for a good reason – to prevent incidents of kidnapping. Some parents, angry and bitter over the outcome of a divorce, take off with the children to spite the other parent. A parent who does this can face fines and jail time.

Can you take your child out of state? If so, how do you go about doing so? Here are some tips to help with this process so you stay within your legal rights.

 Taking a Child Out of State Permanently

 The courts want to keep the children in the state if possible to avoid disruption to their lives. However, the court will approve a relocation in the following circumstances:

  • A new marriage
  • A new job opportunity
  • Educational opportunity
  • Close proximity to the extended family of the custodial parent

You will, however, have to create an out-of-state custody agreement. There are several ways to do so. You can create one with the other parent or do it on your own. You can also have a judge or attorney create one.

The agreement must cover four elements – legal and physical custody, parenting time, child-rearing decisions, and expenses outside of child support.

Traveling Out-of-State With a Child

You may or may not need permission from the other parent to travel out of state with a child for a short period of time. It will depend on the terms of the parenting plan and divorce decree.

The court order may allow it or otherwise not expressly prohibit it. On the other hand, the courts may impose restrictions on travel to protect the children. For example, trips outside of the state may require written approval from the other parent. If you cannot locate the other parent, you may need to request a temporary modification.

Even if there is no custody order in place, it is a good idea to let the other parent know of your intentions to take the child out of state. It does not look good if one parent keeps making decisions without involving the other parent.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today

Life changes, and there may be instances in which a parent wants to take a child out of state either for a temporary or permanent period of time. In these cases, you want to make sure you discuss your plans with the other parent as well as an attorney to avoid legal ramifications.

If you are seeking a change in a custody agreement, get help from Brooklyn child custody attorney Theodore Alatsas ESQ. He can help you create an out-of-state custody arrangement or a temporary agreement so you can travel with your child. Call (718) 233-2903 to schedule a consultation.