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Can my ex relocate our children to another country without my approval? The fear is that she will do so while I am deployed.

Norfolk, VA |

I received a letter from my ex-wives attorney stating that her husband had taken orders to Okinawa, Japan and I should consider this letter an official notice pursuant to Virginia Code 20-124.5. Can she move them out of the country without my approval? The children do not currently have passports. I am also in the military and set to deploy in May (they plan to move to Japan in June) will my deployment hurt my chances at stopping this? I will be deployed no longer than 8 months, however their step-father will be ordered to Japan for 3 years. My last deployment in 2012 resulted in my ex-wife moving the children to SC without my knowledge and after a year in court, she faced no criminal charges but instead we agreed on another custody agreement. The custody case is still held in VA.

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Attorney answers 3


If she has given the statutory notice of a planned relocation, you need to go to the court that has jurisdiction and file a Petition for Custody based on this change of circumstances.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only. For specific information regarding your case, call my office at 757-533-5400 to schedule a consultation.


You need to file right away noting your objections. If you do nothing, you will make it easier for her to relocate. I recommend that you hire an experienced family lawyer in your area, ASAP in order to protect your rights. Time is of the essence. Best of luck~

This response is only intended for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for hiring an attorney in your state. Further, by sharing this information, it is in no way intended to establish an attorney client relationship with the reader.


As an attorney exclusively representing men in Norfolk in domestic relations and child custody cases, I would advise you to immediately consult with a local attorney and file the appropriate motions and pleadings in the court with jurisdiction over the children at the present time, most likely the last court to enter an order regarding custody, visitation, or support. Failing to file quickly could result in a waiver of your objection.

Fathers have rights.

To learn more about attorney Kevin R. Pettrey, Esq., call 757-273-8709 or e-mail him directly through his AVVO profile. Please remember that if you find an answer particularly helpful, please mark it as helpful or "best answer" so that the attorneys who volunteer their time to answer these questions have feedback. This answer is only for informational purposes, is not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and must be judged on its own unique facts.