Starting a new chapter of your life after your divorce can sometimes mean needing to move to a different state to pursue new relationships or employment opportunities. If the court granted you custody of your children, however, there is an additional concern. Make sure you understand the law before you pack up your children and take them with you out of state.
The proper process
Louisiana law requires you to notify your ex-spouse of your intention to move at least sixty days before the date of your move. This gives your ex-spouse time to object to your move if they chose to. This cannot be done over the phone – you must write out the notice and send it by certified mail.
After considering your reasons for wanting to move, as well as your ex-spouse’s objection, if any, the court will either grant or deny your request to move. If they allow the move, the court will modify your visitation schedule to accommodate the distance involved.
What will happen if I move without permission anyway?
Louisiana family courts prioritize the best interest of the child above everything else. They know that, except in cases of abuse, the best thing for a child is to have a regular and meaningful relationship with both of their parents.
Thus, when the court awards visitation rights to the parent that does not have custody of the children, the court takes any attempt to violate that visitation right very seriously, because such an action would violate the child’s right to be with both parents in addition to the right of the noncustodial parent to visit their child.
If you move without the permission of the court, the court could use that action as justification for ordering the return of the child and possibly even modifying your custody arrangement.
Creating a new life for yourself after your divorce can be full of challenges – especially when there are children involved. If you decide that an out-of-state move is necessary, make sure to follow the proper legal procedures before you move, so that you can avoid conflict with the court.