Can I divorce and leave the state with my children?

UPDATED: May 29, 2009

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Can I divorce and leave the state with my children?

I live in Pa and have three children. My husband and I want to get a divorce. I am from LA and want to go back to live near family. I want to take my kids and live there. He says I can’t. What do I do? I have no money for a lawyer as I stay home with the kids and he won’t give me any money now. How do I do this? I don’t want to go through a divorce in court and have him have a lawyer and I don’t and then I lose because of it. What am I to do? I don’t even know where to start?

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.H., Member, California Bar / M.H., Member, California Bar

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You are saying "my kids".  If they are children from the marriage (by blood) or if your husband adopted them then you can't leave the state with them unless your husband agrees.  If they are also his kids, then he has parental rights which you can't just abrogate.  In fact you could be charged with a crime if you did so.  Like it or not you will either have to negotiate an agreement with him and commit it to writing as part and parcel of an uncontested divorce, get a lawyer, or forgo your plans to move until the situation changes.

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