Are you considering leaving the area or the State of Kentucky with a child after your divorce? If you intend to take children out of Kentucky or out of the United States after a divorce it is extremely important that you speak with the experienced Louisville family law attorneys at Dodd & Dodd or receive authorization from the Court prior to travel.
Child custody laws regarding out-of-state travel, international travel, and move-aways or relocations are quite complex. Failure to comply with Kentucky family law in these case can literally result in the forfeiture of your parental custody rights.
Generally speaking, parents with sole legal and physical custody may generally move about freely with children under their charge unless the other parent can demonstrate that travel or relocation would be harmful to the “best interests of the child.”
If you have any form of shared parenting orders and wish to take your child(ren) and leave Kentucky or the United States for any purpose including travel or to visit out-of-state family you must usually have the written permission of the other parent and often the expressed permission of the Court itself.
Our Louisville courts take quite a dim view of a parent leaving the area or the State of Kentucky with a child for travel without obtaining written authorization from the other parent. The excuse of “I wasn’t able to locate them in a timely manner” or “they were being unreasonable” will not suffice. If you cannot obtain the other parent’s written permission to travel with children you should consult our experienced Kentucky child custody attorneys or the Court itself prior to travel.
What should you do if your former spouse moves the children out of the area or out of state without orders from the Court?
If a parent attempts to move away or relocate without the Court’s permission you must act immediately. If you have heard about plans to relocate from one of the children and the move has not yet happened we invite you to contact our office to discuss the situation and consider seeking orders from the Court to prohibit your former spouse from relocating with the children.
If they have already been taken out of the area or out-of-state it is imperative that you immediately assert your rights with our local Louisville Family Law Court.
These cases become a battle of “venue.” The strategy for a parent who is considering leaving the area or the State of Kentucky with a child is often to relocate with the child(ren) and request “emergency orders” from the Courts in their new home. You may only have a period of a few weeks before an out-of-state Court would accept jurisdiction over the matter.
Once another Court accepts jurisdiction over your child’s custody a protracted (and expensive) legal battle must be waged to dispute venue and re-assert Kentucky’s jurisdiction in the matter.
The good news for the parent who lives locally is our Louisville Family Law Courts are quite unhappy with parents leaving the area or the State of Kentucky with a child without obtaining our local Court’s permission. Our Family Law Court will usually issue an order for the immediate return of the child(ren). In addition, the Court will consider the actions of the parent who attempted to travel or relocate or move away without written permission or Court orders. This often results in the revocation of all custody or at least severe modification of child custody and parenting time orders for that parent.
In summary, even if you have sole legal and physical custody after a divorce it is advisable to seek the advice of our attorneys or the Court itself prior to leaving the area or the State of Kentucky with a child after your divorce. It is absolutely important to do so if you intend to relocate out of the area or out-of-state.
If you have questions regarding leaving the area or the State of Kentucky with a child after your divorce or move-away relocation child custody questions or issues we invite you to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys by calling 502-584-1108.