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Can I relocate my child without permission?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Child Custody |

It is usual for an individual to want to start fresh after a divorce. Meeting new people and exposure to a new environment can feel invigorating. However, if you have children with your former spouse, will relocating to a different state without permission be okay?

Understanding relocation requirements in Georgia

Georgia prioritizes minimizing the disruption to a child’s life after a divorce. If you have primary physical custody (you are the custodial parent), you must notify the other parent at least 30 days before the planned move. You must also inform anyone with visitation rights like grandparents, about the relocation.

The 30-day notice gives the other parent enough time to act if they disagree with the planned move. Relocating a child is another significant change, especially in terms of co-parenting and visitation rights.

If the noncustodial parent agrees to the move, both parties can create a modified visitation schedule or custody agreement to accommodate the new living situation. Otherwise, the matter may go to court, where the court will review the case and determine whether the move is in the child’s best interest.

How does the court decide?

When the other parent objects to the relocation, the case goes to court, and a judge will decide whether the move benefits the child.

  • Is the move necessary and valid?
  • Will the distance of the move significantly impact the other parent’s visitation rights and parenting time?
  • Are the education opportunities better at the new location?
  • Can the other parent maintain a healthy relationship with the child after the move?

If you are a noncustodial parent, challenging a relocation may be daunting. You may speak to legal professionals to help you understand your rights and what you can do in situations like this.

Whether you are a custodial parent wanting to relocate to a different state or a parent keeping your child within arm’s reach, it is crucial to understand your state’s law regarding relocation. It is better to follow proper legal procedures to avoid making mistakes that can cost you your parental rights.


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