If I’m a single father who has had joint and physical custody for the last 6 years, do I need her permission to ove out of state?

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If I’m a single father who has had joint and physical custody for the last 6 years, do I need her permission to ove out of state?

Our son is 7 years old. Would I be breaking any laws by moving? When I move I give the mother an address, multiply telephone numbers and any other info she may need to always find and locate us. I don’t think she’s OK with me moving either. What can I do?

Asked on November 18, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If there are court orders in place which grant you the right to designate the primary residence of the child, then you are not breaking any laws by relocating with your son.  If you there are no orders in place, then you could still move.  The only time that you cannot up and move is when there is some type of restraining order or geographic restriction on your ability to relocate with your child. 

If you don't have an order with a restriction in place, she can always take you to court to ask the court to impose the requirement.  This is her possible course of action.  Until she decides to file, you can move and relocate with your son.  Other than what you have already done (giving her updated contact information), you don't need to do anything until she does file.  If you want to discourage a suit, considering taking a few extra steps to encourage contact with your son-- like frequent phone calls or video chatting.  This will take some of the sting of being away from her child and could reduce her motivation to kick up a custody brawl.


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