Relocation out-of-state for children to be with family

My wife initiated legal separation a year ago in NC because she was having an affair, and we are divorcing within a few weeks. We have two children (12 and under). Their grandparents on both sides, as well as most of our family, are in CA. I wish for us relocate back to CA to be closer to family for the sake of the kids. She doesn’t see any value in doing this, and wants to stay in NC, resisting any effort to find employment on the west coast. What are my rights? Is this something that can be worked out in mediation or is this likely going on to divorce court? Am I being unreasonable to think that grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins are important for them to be in close proximity to? And is there any chance that she will be required to move across the country if she wants to keep shared custody in place? Thank you.

If your wife will not consent to the children’s relocation you will have to go to court and prove to the judge that it is in the children’s best interests to move. Your thoughts regarding family are not unreasonable, and the court does consider all factors affecting the children’s welfare in custody cases, a large family network being one of those factors.

The court will not order her to move, but may require that she have more of the transportation burden if she has moved to another county.