Moving out of state w/ no custody agreement


I’ve been (officially) separated for 6 months and we have no custody, child support, or property settlement in place. We have no family here in NC. My children and I live with a man that my STBX doesn’t contest, knows is a good man, knows that the kids love him, and knows I am marrying as soon as our divorce is final. My fiance supports us financially. My STBX does pay child support…and always has. Not what the calculator says he should, but close to it, so I truly can’t hold that against him.
My fiance just received notice that he’ll be transferred to another state. A place that he’s previously lived, worked, and has 2 children. Our standard of living would be able to increase noticeably…not to mention the cost of living is so much lower in that area.
Of course, my children’s father will firmly object on mere principal.
I understand that without an agreement in place, I CAN go. But, he can also file an emergency action to bring the kids right back. But what exactly constitutes an emergency? If he’s granted just as much time with the kids as he has now, I take on the majority of the transportation burden, and I can show that this IS in the children’s best interest, what would he have to claim “emergency”. It’s not like I’m fleeing the state in the night to avoid detection or run from anything.

If I were to file for custody here…now…how likely is it that a judge would allow us to move out of state? (given what I’ve said is truth…best interest of the children, better standard of living, job opportunity, not limiting their father’s involvement, etc)
Yes, I know…I come off as the bad person to many. I’d probably think it, too. From the outside it only looks as if I want to follow my boyfriend and drag the kids along for the ride. If only it were that clear-cut. But a judge would hear both sides, would they not? And if their father never did anything at all about the kids living with him now, he really wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in that department, would he? It would simply be about geography and his time with the kids, correct?
He’s a good dad. I don’t want to keep them from him in the least. I’ve come up with a VERY generous custody/visitation plan that gives him close to exactly what he has now with the kids. (and btw, the move would put us dramatically closer to ALL of our family, both my side AND their father’s side)

What would you advise?

Thanks for your time!


If you are leaving the state with the children with the intention to reside elsewhere an emergency order will likely be granted to keep the children here until a full hearing on the merits can be had.

In my experience, unless the other parent consents, it is difficult to convince a court to allow a relocation with the children as it is presumably in their best interests to remain close to each of their parents.

The best advice I can offer is that you try and negotiate an agreement with the children’s father that allows the move.