The domicile or residence of the child may not be moved from the state without the prior approval of the judge who awarded custody. If the custodial parent moves the domicile of the minor child out of the state against the wishes of the non-custodial parent and without the permission of the court, then the court may sanction orders of contempt. An order to permit a removal from the state is often required before a move can occur especially in contested move-away cases. The move-away order may be entered either by consent of both parties or by the court after a hearing.
Often court orders will include a change of domicile provision stating that the custodial parent shall not remove the minor child from the state without prior approval of the court. The reason for this provision is to ensure that a custodial parent's move out of state is legitimate and the motive is not to frustrate or deny the non-custodial parent access to the minor child.
If the parties mutually agree to a change of domicile and they sign a written agreement known as the stipulation and consent agreement, it will be entered as an order, if approved by the court.
However, if the parties cannot mutually agree on a change of domicile, they may either contact the other party for reaching a consensus, or if this is not possible, they may simply file a petition in court. A word of caution here is that merely notifying your decision of moving from the state to the Friends of Court or filing a petition does not allow the custodial parent to move from the state, prior to a court order being entered.
If you have questions or find yourself in a situation where the custodial parent wishes to take your child of state against your wishes or against a court order, you would do well to consult an attorney in your jurisdiction to help you learn where you stand legally on this matter and to learn what your legal rights and options are.
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