My girlfriend and I are moving out of state with her son. Can his father deny consent for the child to leave the state? A Parenting Agreement has already been signed and we plan to adhere to it with respect to physical custody going forward. In the agreement it states, “Mother shall have final decision as to that issue”, regarding legal custody. As a note, the father has moved out of state since signing parenting agreement.

If the current agreement allows the mother to have primary custody, does not restrict her from moving, and the father’s visitation schedule will remain intact, she may move.

Thanks, Erin.

Follow up question:

Do the following statements from the signed parental agreement define primary custody to the mother?

They read as follows:

Legal Custody: “Mother and Father shall have the joint legal custody of the child. Both parties shall discuss major issues affecting the child’s education, health, religious training, discipline, vacations, choices of schools, summer camps and other living experiences. Should the parties fail to reach an agreement after attempting to do so, then Mother shall have the final decision as to that issue. Each parent shall make the day-to-day decisions regarding the child when they are with him or her.”

Physical Custody: “The child shall reside with mother and visit with father as hereinafter provided…”

Thank you.

Mother has primary physical custody, and while the agreement purports to give the father joint power in the decision making process, it does not, it only requires that mother make an effort to reach an agreement on major issues affecting the child. At the end of the day she has final decision making power.