April 12, 2010
I get this question a lot. The answer is that you cannot move your child to another state without obtaining a Court’s permission if there is a custody order in place. Court permission is obtained by making a motion to the Court and convincing the Court that a move is in the best interests of the child. Even if you and the other parent agree to a move, you should still get a Court order.
If you and the other parent don’t agree, you can expect the process to take some time. Sometimes, the Court will want to order a custody and parenting evaluation from Court Services or a private provider. And, the other party is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to contest the findings of the findings of the evaluation.
This process may seem quite involved. However, in hotly contested custody matters, it is the Court’s obligation to ensure that your children are being served well by your decision to move.
If you do take your child out of state, you may be subject to some fairly significant criminal charges. For an example how these issues play out in a real life case, read this article from today’s Star Tribune.