13 answers

Moving Out of State After a Divorce..

I have been divorced and my ex-husband and I share custody of our two children. I have met someone and been dating for a while now but he lives 2 states away in TN. I want so much to be happy and in love and be with someone that can treat me and my children the way we deserve. But because we have shared parenting..I am curious how to even go about looking into what it will take for me to move to TN with my children? Where do I start? How will it effect my kids? Should I give up on something that could be so great just because it might be difficult to move? Any advice..resourses..etc.you have for me would be so appreciated.

What can I do next?

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I know you have to go before and judge, then they will decide what the half way point is between you both in driving distance, then the holiday schedule will be set, it is a bummer but the law isn't nice when it comes to shared parenting and moving away from one another.. good luck

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Congratulations on your new love! Moving out of state depends on several factors regarding custody. If the father of the children wishes to continue seeing the children, then he can fight you in court to keep you from taking the kids out of state. If you choose to take your kids across state lines without legal permission, you can be charged with kidnapping even though you have custodial rights.

You have several options though. If your ex-husband wishes to continue seeing your kids, then it is likely you will have to carry the burden of travel expenses if you choose to move out of state. You could agree to pay these expenses and move out of state. If he does not want to keep seeing your kids, and depending on how serious you are with this new man, he could legally adopt them. Be aware that this will end any child support agreement you have with your ex-husband. A third option is to minimize travel time for your kids if you move to another state by having their father take them for all of the summer, and you keep them during the school year. This is difficult if you like family vacations, but less of a financial burden.

Your profile says you aren't getting any child support. If your ex-husband owes child support and isn't paying, then you could offer to forgive past debt if he gives up legal rights to the children. I personally would not recommend this route, as it also sounds like he treats your children well.

I think Stacey's suggestion is a good one. Could this new man consider moving to Ohio for you?


First of all you need to try to do what you can about child support. Second you would have to see what the law in your city says about moving. I think Ohio law is a maximum of 300 miles but I could be mistaken. I live in Toledo and that was what was told to me (the father of my kids live 3 hours away in michigan). Your best bet would be to contact your divorce lawyer that helped you with the divorce/child visitation. I have had to do this recently actually and it was free of charge. Your lawyer would be your best bet in finding out what you can do about moving out of state. Of course you are looking out for the best interests of the children, but you also have to take care of yourself. What would probably happen is that your case may go to trial so you can give reasonable proof why it will be good for you to move out of state. If you tell them that because your b/f lives out of state, they will deny you. Make sure that you have good cause to move. I've done this with mine. I'm in school and plan on moving to MI afterwards to teach and my kids' dad is moving back here in Ohio. As long as you have good reasonable proof and evidence for you to move with your children, the courts will grant your okay to move. Any other help you need, email me:)

Lots to think about here. First of all will the courts allow you to move and if so, you may have to pay for their transportation back to see their father whenever it is granted.
If this is a true love, would he move for you and your children? You have to put your children first I believe. Are they going to miss their dad or hold it against you if they don't see him? They are young enough they will adjust to a different living arrangement but make sure you are doing it for your family and not a rebound type of thing. Good luck.

You should probably consult with a lawyer,however in my state i think you have to get permission to leave the state.I definatly wouldn't give up your happiness because of your ex,but I guess your decision should be based on how it would affect you kids.Is the man you met worth the risk and will he treat your kids as if they were his own.I guess sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and make the best out of your situation.I hope everything turns out good for you.

I went thru this a few years ago. I don't know if the laws have changes, but I had to go before a judge to get permission to move out of the state where our custody case was. I would say you should call the court and just ask to speak to someone, they will tell you what you have to do and where to start. And NO I don't think you should give up on being happy and being with a man that you love. True Love isn't something that comes along very often..I say go for it...trust me on this...your kids will adjust..GOOD LUCK

What about your new guy moving closer to you? Then you can avoid the whole mess of court.

I'm not sure it would be fair to the kids to take them away from their dad. I am also divorced and have shared parenting. My kids go to their dad's house about every 5 days for about 2-3 days, depending on his work schedule. My ex is an a**hole in my opinion. I even think my kids will one day realize this, but right now my kids adore him. I am remarried. My husband and I love San Diego where my dad lives, and would love to move there. I would never do it though because I feel it is important for my kids to have access to their dad.

The guy you are in love with should consider moving where you live. If he really loves you and it is at all possible for him to move, he should make it work.

lol I moved from TN where my ex lives to Cincinnati to be with my husband now. I'm not sure what part of TN you are looking at moving to but my ex lives almost in GA and its a 5 1/2hr trip once a month to take my daughter down there to see him for the weekend. I had to agree to bring her down to see him once a month and to him getting her for two weeks at the start of the summer and at the end (not that he has done that either of the past two summers since we had the change of parenting plan drawn up). With my ex I had to have a date set for the wedding before I was alowed to move out of state.

Talk to your lawyer, have him recommend a mediator for you both to go to and see if you and your ex can work things out for you to move. If you cant do it that way then the only thing to do is go to court. Yah it sucks but if you are serious about the relationship you are in then it will be worth it.

My mom was in your shoes 25 years ago and picked me and my sister up (at the same ages of your kids) and moved us 4 hours away from my dad. We lived with my grandparents for awhile and moved around the city with her job and then with her new husband. I think I was the "new girl" at school at least 10 times before I was 12. And then we settled down in one place. So, I can tell you from a kid's perspective that it sucks and I was angry! I saw my dad once every 3 months and I cried whenever we had to say goodbye again. But, now that I'm older, I feel fortunate. My mom was in a bad situation and made a decision that may have been tough and inconvenient but it paid off for all of us in the long-run. All those moves forced me to become a very adaptable person, which is a life skill that has resulted in confidence and security. At the time, of course, I didn't understand. But you have to do what's right for you and your kids, and ultimately, have faith that they'll appreciate it when they're older. Good luck!


I have been there. If you live in the state of ohio you MUST go to court and request (with shared parenting) that you may move. I know, because I have it with my ex. If you don't they will issue a warrant for your arrest for contempt of court. That is if your ex pursuses it. Talk to your ex and go to court with your request.

Good luck


I know you have to go before and judge, then they will decide what the half way point is between you both in driving distance, then the holiday schedule will be set, it is a bummer but the law isn't nice when it comes to shared parenting and moving away from one another.. good luck


It's pretty common to make this kind of adjustment to the shared parenting agreement. That being said you may not like what you'll have to give up in return - such as having your kids away from you for long periods of time (months maybe at a time). In the age of "shared parenting" there is no longer a preference for the mother to have primary or sole custody, and there's a very real possibility that the court would grant this to your ex-husband if the court decides this is the best way to go -- especially now that your son is school age.

Here are a few tips I picked up while volunteering in the Juvenile Court: The easiest and cheapest way to change the agreement is to work out a mutually agreeable custody plan (make sure to put it in writing and get it signed). You do not need an attorney to go into court and have the judge approve this plan. You can pick up the necessary forms from the Juvenile Court's Clerk. The forms are kind of confusing so if you need help the Toledo Bar Association runs a clinic on Thursdays to help people fill out these forms (call the Bar Association or Court to get the time). Once you get them completed, take them back to the Clerk's office and file them -- there may be a filing fee unless you qualify for free filing. You'll then get a hearing date. Make sure to bring the written, and signed, proposed changes, this will make it harder for your ex to then change his mind when you're in front of the judge.

Hope this helped. Good luck!

Is this someone that you are in love with? I would slow down you don't want to rush into this with out thinking it fully through. Someone else said would this guy be willing to move for you? If you are sure then you need to first start looking for a job once you find one then you can go to court and say that you found better work and since he is not paying child support then that would be a reason to move. The courts will not let you take the children and move just because your boyfriend lives there. Being that you really(please don't get offended) don't know this guy what I mean is you are not with him very much and you don't know how he really is I would not jump into this to quick and you need to think about the kids(not saying your happiness doesn't matter because it very much does) but they would not get to see there father that often and that will be very hard on a child believe me my birth mother lives in Georgia and I have only gotten to see her twice since I was a baby and I am 26 its very hard but I do have a great mother that my dad remarried. All I am saying is that there is a lot to this and you should sit down and really think about it. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.

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