Separating - custody - out of state travels


Technically, without an agreement, she has rights to your son and you do too. She could take him to another state, but you could too.

My fear is once she takes him out of state, she will not be agreeable to having him come back. Once the child leaves the state, a precedence is being set for his care. I don’t know what the interstate jurisdiction is for you going up there and bringing him back.

I don’t know…tough situation to have to deal with. You are going to have to have something legal drawn up. If you leave it ‘open’ then you’re taking a risk, in my opinion. Michigan is a long way to travel.

IN MY OPINION, it would be best to have your parents keep him (in NC) while you and your wife deal with the issue. That way he has access to BOTH parents…which is the best.


If you allow her to move out of the state without a written custodial agreement requiring that she return you are jeopardizing your custodial rights.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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My wife and I are separated. Our ability to have the simplest of conversations is very hampered at the moment. She wants to go to her parents - out of state - and take our 2 year old son with her, so her parents/family can watch him. I also have family available to watch our son.

Honestly - for the next few weeks, until we come to some agreeable terms, I think it would be best if her family watched him, only because she would have some peace of mind having him with her. She is very emotional and angry at the moment, and yells at me on the phone with our son present (I can hear him in the background) If I force to keep him in the state, she would just have even more to deal with, and us resolving anything would be impossible.

How can I, under a non-contractual separation (no written agreements), accomplish allowing her to take our son for a few weeks out of state, without jeopradizing any custody rights to my son in the state of NC?

We want to mediate some terms of custody, but every day she is in NC, things get progressively worse between us. She is breaking down, and I want to help, without affecting my rights to my son. If I allow her to go to out of state (Michigan) with my son, what are my risks? Is there a win-win in this situation?