Legal Question in Family Law in Kansas

Relocation of Children after Divorce

Dear Sir -

I'm a divorced single father of two children, age 12 and 16, with sole residential custody of both. My ex-wife and I have been divorced since 1994. According to my final divorce decree, my ex has only supervised visitation of our children. I wish to move from Kansas to California with my children as soon as possible to further my career, and to persue a personal relationship. I have notified my ex-wife verbally of my intention, and she, while not excited about it, claims she will not attempt to stop me as both children desire to move to California and remain with me.

My question is, do I need to give my ex-wife any formal notice of my intent to move the children out of state? If so, what qualifies as legal notice, and how far in advance am I required to notify her?quired?

Asked on 6/15/00, 2:51 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bonnie Selby Bonnie J. Selby, Attorney at Law
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Re: Relocation of Children after Divorce

Oral notice usually ends in a "he said/she said" contest in court; I would absolutely give written notice of your understanding of her agreement that you and children will move to a new and specific out of state address and send that notice by certified mailing so that you have 'green card' and copy of your letter as proof of notice. She then has time to respond PRIOR to your move. . .if she does not, you're covered.

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Answered on 8/07/00, 8:56 am
James Peter Law Office of James A. Peter
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Re: Relocation of Children after Divorce

Not only is prior notice by certified mail a good idea to stop the "he said/she said" controversy, it is the law. Kansas law requires that a parent who plans to remove a child from the state of Kansas for a period of time exceeding 90 days give the non-custodial parent written notice by registered mail at least 21 days prior to the date of departure. Failure to do so may be construed as a contempt of court and constitute a "material change of circumstance" in which the Court could order a change of primary custody and subject the noncomplying parent to pay attorney fees of the other parent in retaking the children. Althought the statute requires "registered mail" I belive most courts will accept "certified mail" provided the other parent actually received the document as evidenced by their signature on the greed card.

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Answered on 8/08/00, 9:47 pm

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