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When do I need to let my ex know I'm moving?

Omak, WA |

I live in the state of WA. My husband may be taking a job in the same state but 3 hours away. I have custody of my 3 year old. Her father lives 2 hours away currently. I am planning on moving with my husband for better employment. When do I legally need to inform my ex husband? I haven't told him yet because I'm waiting to see that my husband ends up getting the job.

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Attorney answers 3


You are required to give sixty days notice, or if you can't give sixty days notice you must notify the other parent within five days of learning that you were relocating. You must notify the other parent and then they have thirty days to object to the intended relocation. If the parent objects, a hearing will be held where the judge will determine if you can leave. The judge will decide based on 11 different factors all related to the impact of the move on you, the other parent, and the child.

The foregoing is commentary regarding a general legal question. It is not intended to be legal advice specific to the reader's individual situation. Answering your question is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to contact a qualified attorney to discuss your legal situation.


The forms so you can comply with the Child Relocation Act are on the forms page at I agree that there really isn't a good reason to tell your ex unless your husband gets the job, even if that may reduce the amount of notice you are able to give your ex. This is a relatively new statute, and there isn't a lot of caselaw on this yet.
If you propose a new parenting plan and offer to provide at least half the transportation and offer your ex additional time in the summer or during holidays so he can maintain his relationship with his child, that *may* help him not feel like he has to engage in a full-on defense and try to get the Court to make you stay, or leave the child with him.

Elizabeth Powell

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The Relocation statute (RCW 26.09.420 et seq.) says that you have to give sixty days notice to your ex before the move if you have that much time after you learn that you have to move. Otherwise, you must notify the dad within five days of learning that you have to relocate. He then has thirty days to object. If he does, a trial is held with witnesses and exhibits. The judge will then decide whether you can move with the child based on the 11 factors listed in RCW 26.09.520. The statute says that it is presumed that the move will be allowed. However, I have seen cases where the move was blocked because the move would be too harmful to the kids. See my AVVO Legal Guides on relocation for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. To find my Legal Guides, go the AVVO website at; click on “Find a Lawyer”; get to my AVVO home page by clicking on my name or photo; when you get to my AVVO home page scroll down to "Contributions" and then click "Legal Guides." You will get a list of the 29 Legal Guides I have published on AVVO. Scroll down this list and select the topics that are relevant to your question. You may also want to schedule a free ½ hour consultation with me by calling my office at 253-815-8440.

This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes

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