Sole Custody and Relocation
I am divorced and have sole custody of my 14 year old daughter. I live in the state of Kentucky and am going to remarry and move to Connecticut. I have already established employment and have begun the process of enrolling my daughter in school. My divorce decree states that my husband is to have reasonable visitation upon submission of a clean drug test to my attorney. He has not seen our daughter since the court ordered him to submit the drug test 7 months ago.
What is my legal obligation to notify my ex-husband of my intent to relocate (with my daughter) out of state? I have been told that because I have sole custody, I need only provide him with the new address and phone number and date of the move. I want to make sure I do this the right way. I don't want to receive a summons for kidnapping a few months down the road.
The divorce decree does not mention relocation. It only states that I am to provide my ex-husband with an address and phone number when taking my daughter away overnight.
Thank you in advance.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Sole Custody and Relocation
As you are the sole custodian you have the right to make all decisions with regard to your child, including relocation. You should provide him with advance adequate notice. there is a possiblity, as the law in changing custody has changed in the last few years, of him being able to try to change custody due to your move, but with him not having any contact for 7 months and because it sounds as if your custody/divorce decree is less than 2 years old, this should not be an issue. feel free to contact me with further questions.
Re: Sole Custody and Relocation
The circumstances under which you were granted sole custody and your ex-husband visitation rights will change upon your move out of state. While I do not know the specific facts surrounding the "drug" thing, you should at least file a motion with the Court seeking permission to take the child out of state. Otherwise, you stand the chance that your ex-husband, despite his record, could raise the issue that his visitation rights are being interfered with. With his past record, I doubt that your custody of your child would be in danger nor do I think that permission would be refused, but you would head off a future problem. Seek the advice of a local attorney who practices family law and find out what the local feeling is.
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