Moving out of state with children after divorce, no court mandated orders

Hi, we’ve been divorced for about 5 years. I’m the primary parent. We do not have any court orders regarding custody. The separation agreement states that one parent can move with the kids as long as the other one is notified. It also states that the reason have to be for schooling, medical, or extraneous circumstances. My family is in another state and I’m having severe financial issues.

If I notify him and get him to sign an agreement, can I move with the kids out of state? Is there anything he can do to force them to move back?

If your separation agreement does not have any mileage or location restrictions for a relocation, and especially if the father is willing to sign an amendment to the separation agreement that would include a new custody/visitation schedule with you living out of state, then you would be fine to move outside of NC without any court involvement.

If he is agreeing that you move out of state with the children and he voluntarily and on his own free will signs an amendment to the separation agreement with a new out of state custody/visitation schedule, then he cannot force you to move back to NC.

If your separation agreement does not allow for an out of state relocation and/or the father will not sign an amendment (must be notarized by both parties), then you would need to file for custody in court to ensure that you can move outside of the State of NC without the possibility of him filing for an emergency ex-parte custody order.

Anna Ayscue

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

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