Moving out of state

By what mechanism do you and ex have joint legal custody: court order or unincorporated separation agreement?

If by court order, ex can move for modification of existing order by claiming proposed relocation of child to TN constitutes a substantial change of circumstance adversely affecting child’s welfare. A judge will have to decide the “best interest” question and rule accordingly. So, you don’t really need ex’s permission, but you do need the court’s permission. If you don’t get it, ex could seek to have you held in contempt for non-compliance with physical custody (i.e. visitation) provisions of existing order. You and ex could, of course, try to settle your differences out of court via a consent order. I strongly advise you to at least attempt to come to agreement with ex.

If by unincorporated separation agreement, no, you don’t need his permission. You (or he) can take your daughter wherever you want. These agreements are largely unenforceable with regard to custody.

Your ex has no right or “standing” to make you stay or live anywhere. His rights extend only to custody of and visitation with your daughter. If a judge were to rule that child stays in NC, this ruling would not prevent you from moving to TN.

It very much depends on the terms of your current arrangment and the answer tends to be very grey not black and white. I would suggest that you take your current custody document with you and meet with an attorney to discuss this fully. Relocations are complicated and are very dependent on the relative positions of the parents in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

Good luck.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

If my ex husband and I have legal joint custody of our daughter in the state of NC, if I wanted to move to TN, would I need his permission? If he tried to fight me would he have legal right to keep both of us here?