Can my wife take my minor children out of state to visit her boyfriend?

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Can my wife take my minor children out of state to visit her boyfriend?

My wife moved out of our house 4 months ago. Last week she took my daughter to AR to visit her boyfriend (she fell in love on Facebook 6 months ago). She didn’t tell anyone they were going. She texted my other daughter to tell her they were down there. We aren’t legally separated or divorced.

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is a court order in effect, one spouse can legally take the children out-of-state without the other spouse's permission. This is true whether it is for a visit or an a permanent move. What you need to do now is to go to court to and obtain a temporary custody order. This will lay out each parties rights to the children. The fact is that your wife could decide to stay in AZ and once she establishes residency she could then file for custody (and divorce) there. At this point you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.


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