In Minnesota and all other states, there are legal guidelines to help parents resolve issues regarding the care and well-being of their children. The court considers numerous factors in divorce and child custody cases and will make decisions based on the unique facts of each individual case. You may already have a child custody order in place. However, if you are planning to move to another state, a modification of the order may be necessary.
When a family court judge issues a child custody order, you and the other parent are obligated to adhere to the terms, unless and until the judge overseeing your case modifies the order. If you are moving to another state with or without your children, and will be unable to meet the terms of your existing court order, you must file a petition for child custody modification in court. It is best to do this with the help of an experienced family law attorney.
Questions must be answered for child custody modification
In most cases after a divorce, you can’t just pack your bags and move to another state with your kids, if the child custody order does not state that you may do so. The court will determine if it is in your children’s best interest to move. For instance, moving because of a promotion at work may be a more legitimate reason than trying to get as far away from your mother-in-law as possible because you don’t like her.
Your current status, such as whether you have sole child custody or share legal and physical custody with the other parent, may influence the court’s decision when you request modification of your child custody order.
What if the other parent does not agree to your relocation?
It may be difficult to convince a Minnesota judge to modify a child custody order if the other parent refuses to agree to your relocation. It may be possible to still gain the court’s approval in certain circumstances, however, which is why it is helpful to seek legal guidance ahead of time, so that you understand what options may be available and how the system works.
In the event that the other parent takes your child to another state without your permission, a whole host of legal issues arise. Such situations are highly distressing for children and parents. It is important to know what to do and where to seek support in such situations, especially if the other parent has threatened to do something like this. There are specific laws prohibiting parental kidnapping and other forms of depriving parents of their parental rights. Talk to a family law attorney as soon as possible if this is your situation.