Leaving the state with kids if you haven’t been a resident for 6months


We moved to Nc from Fl in the beginning of March. It is currently July. I have not been a resident here for a full six months yet. I would like to make plans to leave this state to move close to family in another state. I used to have a restraining oder on my husband in Fl last year. I dropped it because I thought he worked on his issues and we could work on having a healthy relationship. That is not the case this is not a healthy environment for me or my children. My husband is emotionally abusive. Screams and curses in front of the children, he has hit walls next to my head, talked about suicide and has pretended to make an attempt since we have lived here. He has also threatened to kill me in front of the kids. He made this threat right before we moved here. I told him I did not want to move and he got infuriated. I don’t want to leave and him find a way to make me come back or him have extended periods of time with the children. I have stayed for so long because I feel like I can make my children feel safe when I am around and I can step in if I feel like he is getting out of hand. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to make wrong choices that put me and my children in the wrong position legally. Can I leave? If so how do I protect myself legally? We have no custody papers or agreements of any kind. He has told he won’t allow me to leave without having some kind of agreement before I go. I feel like that is a manipulation tactic to keep me here. I would not be able to leave safely if I tell him I am leaving before hand… which could be anothe issue.


You can file for a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) in the county that you currently reside. You must be a resident of NC to ask for a DVPO but there is no minimum residency requirement like there is for other actions.

If granted (and it appears you have enough for it to be granted), then the DVPO would force a separation. You can ask for temporary custody of the children through the DVPO. However, if you were to leave the State of NC with the children, without express permission from the court, then this could be grounds for your husband to ask for an ex parte emergency custody order based on you leaving the jurisdiction of the State of NC (assuming he can establish that NC has jurisdiction to make custody decisions).

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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