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Can my ex move out of state with my daughter ?

Newberg, OR |

My ex is facing criminal charges for fraud in oregon. she had permission to live in Camas WA with her mother. Her felony charges have not been sentenced yet.
Her and I have 50/50 custody (for over 1.5yrs) and are in the process of going to court over modification to our current custody agreement, pending a parental evaluation, that she has filled for. She wants sole custody, very little parenting time for myself and the ability to move our daughter to moses lake WA (6hrs from where we both currently live and most of our family).
She handed me a paper stating that she was evicted from her uncles home and has no other choice but to move to moses lake WA with her new husband.
Can she move with a pending criminal case? Can she use an eviction to change the custody we currently have? thanks

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Given the pending criminal case, and that she's already living outside of Oregon, she can move with the permission of the criminal court judge.

    That is not relevant to the custody issue, however. For the custody case, she is required to give you 60 days notice of her intent to move with the child; she cannot simply move without the judge's approval or your written consent. She can certainly move for whatever reason she wishes, but cannot take your daughter with her until you (or a judge) say so. Now that you're been given your notice, you have the right to request the court change your daughter's primary residence to your residence rather than your ex's.

    Of course, since a case is already pending, you (or your lawyer) should most certainly bring this to the court's attention, since this could change the evaluational millieux in which the court will have to make its decision. In any case, given the complexity of the issues involved, you should not proceed without the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate the system. My office handles such cases, and you should feel free to give us a call at 503.227.0965.

  2. What do you mean, "Can"?

    People often ask questions of this sort: "'Can' someone do something?" I want to encourage you to see that this is not always the most useful way to phrase the question. What someone "can" do is a matter of physical ability. The law does not physically restrict people from doing things - at least, not until they do something for which they can be imprisoned. Rather, the law imposes consequences for actions. So the question should be, if she moves, is that lawful, and what are the consequences for doing it?

    As Mr. Slavin says, custody judgments generally require either parent to have written permission of the other parent, or approval of the court, before moving more than 60 miles further distant from the other parent. If they move without such approval, then they're in violation of the court's order, and this can cost them custody. The decision will ultimately be based on the best interests of the child; but one factor that a court considers in deciding what is in the child's best interests is whether each parent is likely to support an ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent, and moving away makes that seem less likely.

    In this case, given the facts you describe, it's unlikely that your ex-whatever (ex-wife? "Ex" isn't a term that means much to us, legally) will get what she wants. Even aside from the criminal issues, in general, parents who try to uproot their kids from their established home face an uphill battle. But bear in mind that the only thing we can see about your case is your own perspective. I'm sure the other parent would have a very different story to tell. That doesn't mean that both sides are necessarily both right, but it does mean that a court is going to have to hear both sides before making a decision. Given that, you should consult with an attorney to help you as you go through this case.

    Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:

  3. You should not be handling this custody dispute without an attorney. Way too complex. A consultation is a MUST for you. Give me a call: 503-650-9662, Diane

    Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.

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