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Dec 10, 2023, 06:18:20 PM

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Preventing Domestic Move-Aways

For various reasons, a large number of custodial parents take the children and move to another State. This article contains ways to help prevent domestic move-aways.
When the custodial parent moves to another state it makes it next to impossible for the non-custodial parent (often the father) to see his children or exercise his rightful parenting time in any meaningful way. In extreme cases a move-away may be done by a custodial parent specifically to help them in alienating the children from the non-custodial parent.

Our feeling is that if your ex-spouse wants to move, fine, but the children stay. Uprooting the children from their established environment and reducing contact with the non-custodial parent is extremely unlikely to benefit them in any way, shape or form.

If you find out that your ex-spouse is planning to move, contact an attorney at once and do the following:

  • Immediately file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). In the TRO, specify that the children are to be prevented from leaving the State.

  • At the same time, file for Full Custody, citing "Substantial Change In Circumstances" (the move) as the reason for the proposed change in custody.

  • If your ex continues with her move, or has already moved, cite this as possible evidence of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and also as evidence that they are unwilling to support the child's relationship with you.
Insist that your ex-spouse provide convincing proof to a judge that moving the children away is in their best interests. Make her explain why it would be better to uproot the children and make them change their school, neighborhood and friends, rather than to leave them where they are now, in familiar surroundings.

Prepare a list of the schools and recreational opportunities in your area and request that your ex show you a comparable list from her proposed new location. Also cite the fact that the child is used to and familiar with the present area and has friends and/or family where he/she is now.

Be aware that fighting a move by a custodial parent is often an uphill battle, but the alternative is to simply let your children go and risk losing virtually all contact with them.

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