Can my ex-spouse move with my child out of state?

Divorce changes much more than the relationship between you and your former spouse. It can change your routines, your support system and how often your see your child. Some people may even consider opportunities after divorce that they would not have considered otherwise, such as an out-of-state job.

An opportunity could come up for your ex-spouse that encourages him or her to move out of state. However, if your ex-spouse wants to move out of Virginia with your child, you can take actions, which may prevent this from occurring.

Quick action may be required

Virginia law requires your ex-spouse to provide you and the court with at least 30 days’ notice of his or her intention to relocate with your child. If you do not believe the move will be in your child’s best interests, you can ask the court to deny the relocation or you can request a change to your custody agreement. However, it is often best to initiate this as early as possible.

A judge will consider the childs best interests

When a judge makes decisions about child relocation or child custody, he or she does so based on the child’s best interests. A court can consider any relevant factor when determining your child’s best interests. However, there are several factors that are typically considered.

Some of the factors that determine a child’s best interests, include the:

  • Physical and mental condition of both parents
  • Relationship the child has with each parent
  • Role each parent played or will play in the child’s upbringing
  • Likelihood that each parent will support the child’s relationship with the other parent

Many changes can happen both during and after divorce. However, some changes may be prevented. If your ex-spouse moves with your child to another state, you could lose access to your child. If you receive a notice of your ex-spouse’s intention to move, it may be necessary to take action to prevent this from occurring.

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