Can I cross the state line with my children after divorce?

| Mar 2, 2021 | Divorce |

Gladys Knight sang about her man “Leaving on the Midnight Train to Georgia.” What about if it is Georgia that you want to leave and you want to take your children with you?

To cross the state line with your children after divorce will require careful consideration and legal approval. Failing to get this could lead your ex to accuse you of kidnapping your children. It could also leave your children feeling very confused and sad at being unable to see their other parent as much as they would like.

What do you need to consider if you wish to move with your child?

  • Your childrens’ ages: Georgia laws give children aged 14 years or over the right to decide which parent they live with. Talk to your child before thinking about moving. If they prefer to stay, they might exercise their right to choose and leave you to relocate alone.
  • Your justification for wanting to move: If the other parent agrees to the move, it should be straightforward. However, if they contest it, you will need to prove to the judge that your reasons are good enough.
  • Your accommodation to the other parent: A Georgia court will start on the basis that it is typically best for both parents to remain involved in a child’s life. They also consider it important for others such as grandparents to maintain contact with a child. You always need to give written notice to anyone with visitation rights, regardless of any agreement you may have in place with the other parent.

If you already have a parenting plan in place, you will need to notify the court and ask them to modify it. Failing to do so runs the risk that the other parent could later say they never agreed to you relocating with your children.