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Can a mother move out of state with the kids if the father objects? This is in washington state.

Tacoma, WA |

Mom lives in Washington a divorce is just being filled and she says if she finds a job out of state she is taking the kids and moving them out of state. I as the father wants them to live here in Washington can she do that?

Attorney Answers 3


Generally not. Court will prefer to keep family in same state for purposes of custody and visitation issues. You should bring your custody and visitation issues up immediately with the family law attorney you hire.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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With all due respect to the previous answer, Wa. laws are different from the laws in Ca. In Wa. State we have a relocation statute that specifies if a custodial parent moves out of state, he/she must first give notice to the non-custodial parent to give him/her the opportunity to object. Under our law, relocation is presumed to be in the best interest of the child absent evidence otherwise proffered by the non-custodial parent. Once an objection is filed, a trial is held on a shortened time to review the statutory criteria for the relocation. The court then uses a balancing test favoring the presumption of the mover if the statutory criteria are met and the move is in the best interests of the child.

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Given the mother's stated intent of moving and your desire to be physically close to your children, you should work very hard at be declared the custodial parent of the children now. Then, the children stay with you when the mother moves.

If you have not been the primary caretaker of the children in the past, that should not be the reason to deny you custody of the children now if being with you is in the best interest of the children.

You should review your specific facts with your attorney to see your legal options.

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