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Can I move a child that I share 50/50 custody with out of state for my medical residency if his father objects?

Seattle, WA |

My ex-husband and I have joint custody of our 5 year old son, and joint decision making in all major life events. I am finishing medical school and about to match into a residency. I am unsure where I will be sent, but am hoping to match either in the town we all live in or my hometown, which is a state away and is where all of my family lives. If I match into my hometown, what are the chances that the child will be able to move with me if his father disapproves of the move?

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Attorney answers 3


You should review the parenting plan to see which parent is designated the custodian. The custodian is the parent with whom the child resides more than the other parent.

The custodian is the parent who has to follow the relocation statute when the custodian wants to move with the child outside of the child's current school district.

If you are the custodian parent, you must follow the statutory requirements that include giving notice to the other parent and the court of your intended move.

The other parent can object to the move by filing the appropriate documents with the court.

When there is an objection, the court will decide whether the move is in the best interest of the child. There is a presumption that a move of the custodian parent is in the child's best interest. The objecting parent must overcome that presumption.

Moving to a neighboring state is not all that far away. With cooperation between the parents, the child can still see both parents frequently.

You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.


You need to comply with he relocation act. Chance has nothing to do with the analysis. You need to prove that relocating with your child is in the child's bests interests. You should hire counsel.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements


It would be very difficult to estimate youyr odds of becoming the primary residential parent based on the information you have provided. Since you have 50/50 time with your child, it is very likely that the two of you will be treated the same as people who have never had a parenting plan and the decision about where your child will live when you two parents live far apart will be made based on what is in the best interest of the child rather than giving a priority to either one of you. I encourage you to try your best to consider what would be best for your child as well as for your child's father and yourself. If you can negotiate an agreement that both parents can live with, that would be a lot better than putting yourselves and your child through litigation about the matter.

Please consult with a really good family law attorney (or more than one) to get some wise advice about your alternatives. Best wishes on completing your education and having a wonderful career and wonderful family life.