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What paperwork do I need to file to request to move my kids out of state

Burnsville, MN |

Id like to move my kids out of state ASAP! I'm losing my home do to being disabled from a caraccident last year and I can't afford to live in Minnesota. I do have a stable home in California, where my domestic partner of 3 years owns and has a stable career in education.
I also have some concerns about my children being with my ex if I can't take them. He's exposes them to multiple short term relationships, he's smoked marijuana with my 17 year old, brought home strippers nd told my 17year old about it, yes my son was home when he brought her home! He's had a recent DUI, drives with no insurance and is a alcoholic! I'm scared the courts would allow my kids to stay with him and my children would be in harms way! Please help ....

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Attorney answers 3


I am afraid it is not a quick process nor is it simple.

Whether a parent can relocate out of the state depends on your current circumstances. If there has never been a court order entered establishing a parenting schedule for the father and the parties were not married. then the mother, may relocate without consent.

If there is a court ordere establishing custody or parenting time or the parents were married when the child was born. you must seek consent of the other parent or an Order of the Court .
In that situation, a parent cannot relocate of the state with a minor child unless that parent has:

(1) Consent of the other parent, if that parent has been given parenting time by an order or decree; or

(2) An order of the court allowing the relocation.

As a result, it is incumbent upon the parent seeking to relocate out of state to file a Motion and acquire and order allowing that relocation before doing so. A failure to follow this procedure creates a grave risk that dissenting parent may seek an ex parte order changing custody immediately pending a hearing on the issue.

If the matter proceeds to Court, the Judge may not allow the relocation if it is demonstrated that the purpose of the move is to interfere with parenting time given to the other parent by the decree. In the past when determining whether to allow a parent to relocate with the child, there was a presumption in favor of maintaining the present custodial arrangement. In other words, the custodial parent had the advantage and a presumption in his/her favor which often ended up with the court allowing the relocation.

The factors the court must consider in determining the child's best interests include, but are not limited to:

(1) the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child's relationship with the person proposing to relocate and with the nonrelocating person, siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life;

(2) the age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration special needs of the child;

(3) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating person and the child through suitable parenting time arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties;

(4) the child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;

(5) whether there is an established pattern of conduct of the person seeking the relocation either to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the nonrelocating person;

(6) whether the relocation of the child will enhance the general quality of the life for both the custodial parent seeking the relocation and the child including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity;

(7) the reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation; and

(8) the effect on the safety and welfare of the child, or of the parent requesting to move the child's residence, of domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01.
For a consultation call 612.240.8005.

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Yes, we have a current court order for parenting time. He has kids 8 nights a month. One of my biggest concerns is that I'm out of money and can't afford to live in Minnesota. If I can't take my children with me to California, is okay to leave the kids with their dad without a court order or do i need a written/ verbal agreement with him , so that i dont lose any rights to my children? Im waiting on a lawsuit from my car accident, then I will proceed with hiring a attorney and move forward with the fight for my children to relocate with me or for me to be given parenting time. Either way I'm in a financial hard place at this time. I either leave me children here in a Mn and I go to my home in California or I go to a shelter here because I've used all of my savings and resources. Either way this will be tough on my children, which breaks my heart!

Maury Devereau Beaulier

Maury Devereau Beaulier


If you leave them with their father without a court order, there is nothing wrong with that. However, you should know that also provides him a strong basis to go to curt and seek primary custody

Michael J Corbin

Michael J Corbin


Counsel's response is 100% correct. The burden you face trying to obtain approval to relocate to another state is quite high, and, frankly, I don't think you have a case for it. In order to obtain such an order, you have to prove every element outlined by counsel in his excellent response. Plus, remember, that your lack of income is a factor against you since (a) you don't get to simply show the court you are capable of caring for the children by using your "partner's" income/housing, and (b) if you were to go to a shelter, your children would almost certainly be removed and given to the other parent. The real issue you have is proving the move is NECESSARY, which it really isn't - your lack of income isn't a reason to move, and that leaving the children here is a really bad idea, which, although the other parent obviously has some issues, you'd have to PROVE your allegations and show, somehow, they are harmful to the children. One final point - if you are allowed to move, you'd probably be on the hook for the costs associated with transporting the kids back to MN for parenting time with the other parent. You are seeking to upset the cart here, so it would probably be your responsibility to ensure parenting time can occur.


The paperwork is NOT the problem, the real issue is the burden of proof you will need to meet, and that is what you should hire an attorney for, otherwise you may just be wasting your time.

Attorney Williams practices FAMILY LAW throughout the State of California and may be reached at (831) 233-3558 and offers free consultations. The response provided in this forum is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information offered in this response is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without further consultation with a legal professional after all relevant facts are disclosed and considered. DANIEL S. WILLIAMS, ESQ. LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL S. WILLIAMS 500 LIGHTHOUSE AVENUE, STE. A MONTEREY, CA 93940 (831) 233-3558 -- OFFICE (831) 233-3560 -- FAX


I agree with counsel. You need either permission from the other parent or a court order if the other parent has court-ordered parenting time and/or custody. The burden is high on the parent wanting to move as the court's presumption is it is in the best interests of the children to have access to both parents.

Disclaimer: This email message in no way creates an attorney client relationship between Majeski Law, LLC and the recipient. Responses are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer regarding any specific legal matter.

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