Mom Taking Kids to Another State-divorce Not Even Final

Updated on May 19, 2010
N.A. asks from Palmyra, PA
14 answers

Okay mommas, this is a question for a friend. His wife is going to file for divorce, four kids, two are biologically his, two he's raised from age one. No divorce settlement or custody agreement yet. She's leaving him to another state to start a new life with an ex husband. He's crushed. What can he do to stop this? She's moving in three weeks.***They currently live in Pennsylvania.

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answers from Redding on

He should petition for divorce first and ask for custody of his biological children.
He no doubt should get an attorney, but from what I know, he should file first because then she will have to respond and answer for her choices.

Best wishes.

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answers from Minneapolis on

You don't say which state your friend lives in so I don't know how much help I will be :) However, you mention that divorce hasn't been filed for yet - correct? He needs to file the initial divorce papers today or tomorrow. Then, depending on the rules of the state that your friend lives in, will dictate what happens next. Some states will allow a move within the state borders with essentially no notice (MN) and other states will allow a move of up to 150 mi but not across state lines (WI). Some states will not allow a move of any kind until the divorce is finalized. Also, if she moves before the papers are filed she will venue it where her new residence is (once she meets the residency requirements of the state she is moving to), which means he will have to travel for court appearances and to fight her for custody - no good. He needs to remember that she may be moving now because if the divorce is venued in the new state she already knows that the rules are much more leinent in that state (don't know of course, but should be factored as a possibility).

Right now, none of it really matters unless those papers get filed immediately. There are ways to file papers contesting the move prior to a divorce being filed, but it really is the long way around things.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This is typically not allowed with out court ruling, especially since the divorce isn't final and no visitation terms are set. He needs a lawyer pronto.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Absolutely talk to an attorney ASAP to find out what she can and cannot legally do.

A friend is going through a messy divorce, and despite his soon-to-be-ex wife being completely unstable, she has custodial rights in their state (Kansas). Each state will have different legislation, so it's really important to know exactly what PA's laws are.



answers from Kansas City on

You say his wife is going to file....if she hasn't filed yet, he'd better beat her to it. Unfortunately, dads don't seem to have the same rights as moms do, so if he files first, he may have an upper hand in this. If she does move, then he should follow her. I know, pain in the butt, but best for the kiddos. She's a selfish woman, who is thinking only of herself.



answers from Pittsburgh on

She is only getting ready to file and she's moving? He can talk to a police officer and get some info but this might be a case of kidnapping! I think you can only move out of state if it is get employment...not sure though. I wish him luck. She sounds very nice--NOT!


answers from San Francisco on

That's a question for a lawyer. Try


answers from Phoenix on

Also tell him to get a separate calendar and document EVERYTHING! Also tell him if possible to only text and ideally, only email her. That way there is documentation about their discussions, otherwise in court its "he said/she said". Been there, done that...good luck!!!



answers from Tulsa on

in okla you can get a court order to stop her. till the custody hearing.



answers from Allentown on

My son's friend's parents went through a divorce in PA. I think they had already filed for divorce, and the mother was not allowed to move out of state with the kids because there was a battle for custody. Tell him to get a lawyer & good luck!

I will be praying for those kids!



answers from Tulsa on

I know of a woman who left her husband and moved to another state. The husband filed in the home state, and she lost custody. He needs to talk to someone who knows the laws in Pa. because a parent can't just move away with the kids. While he may not have rights to the older kids, his biological kids he absolutely does.



answers from Harrisburg on

I believe if he puts in a petition with the courts he can halt her move before an agreement is reached.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets
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answers from Columbus on

Okay, I can tell you what I know for sure about Ohio's laws, I recently had to research them because my husband and I split last year and he was threatening to take the kids to another state. There would have been nothing I could have done to stop him, since we were still married, he had a right to take them anywhere, and all I could do if he DID take the kids and run was file for divorce and custody in his absence, win by default, and then go after him for noncustodial kidnapping (which can take, literally, years!)

Please tell your friend to go ASAP and file papers, once papers have been filed, the wife will lose her legal right to take the children out of state.



answers from Portland on

Definitely make the first move and establish all proceedings in the state where he lives. I'd have him talk with an attorney asap (initials are usually free) and see what kind of legal advice he can get and have him go from there.
Time is against him on this one, so make sure he moves QUICKLY.
Good luck!

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