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Child Custody in Mankato Minnesota: Can I Take the Kids out of State?

When you are raising kids but living separately from their other parent, you have a lot of complicated questions you may have to face and difficult issues to navigate when it comes to sharing child custody in Mankato Minnesota. One of the most difficult issues occurs when one parent needs to move to a different state for family reasons, job opportunities or a simple desire to relocate someplace else.  For one parent to take the child with him or her, this means that the child’s relationship with the other parent will be affected.  Whether or not the parent who is leaving can take the child out of state is going to vary greatly depending upon the situation.

Can You Take the Kids out of State?

If you are still married (not legally separated or divorced, even if you are living apart), then you can usually take your kids anywhere you want to as long as no divorce papers have been filed and no custody agreement has been put into place. If one parent doesn’t want the other to leave the state, then he or she will need to file for divorce or otherwise go to court to seek an injunction stopping the move.  Likewise, if you’ve never been married to your child’s other parent and there’s no formal custody plan in place, you can usually move with your kids if they live with you and the other parent will need to take affirmative steps to stop you.

Once divorce or custody papers have been filed and/or a custody agreement is in place, however, then you cannot just pick up and move except in rare cases where you have sole custody and the other parent doesn’t have visitation or legal custody.  In most cases when divorce or custody papers have been filed or there is an agreement in place on custody, you’ll need to either get the permission of the other parent to move or you’ll need to go to court and convince the judge to let you go with the kids.

Coming to an agreement on whether you can move is the easiest way to resolve this issue and is less costly and less stressful for everyone involved. Talk to your ex and explain why moving is a great opportunity for your kids and how you will make sure that important relationships can be maintained even long distance. If you can agree, you can go before a judge and ask the judge to simply sign off on your new custody arrangement.

If the other parent flat out refuses to let you move, then you’ll need to prove to the court why it is in the best interests of the child to leave the state. These types of cases are called move-away cases and it is important to be represented by a qualified and experienced Mankato Minnesota family law attorney who can help you to convince the court why it makes sense to allow you to leave and take your children with you.