I get a lot of questions about whether the custodial parent can move a child out of state without the other parent’s permission. In Minnesota, the parent with custody who wishes to move must first obtain the permission of the other parent or get the Court’s permission.
In 2006 the law changed say to a parent cannot relocate out of the state with a minor child unless that parent has one of two things:
As a result, it is the responsibility of the parent seeking to relocate out of state to file a Motion to get an Order allowing that parent to relocate before doing so.
A failure to follow proper procedure creates a serious risk that the parent who does not want the child to move may seek an ex parte order changing custody immediately pending a hearing on the relocation issue.
Under Minnesota law, whether or not a parent can move out of state is based on what is in the best interests of the child. The factors the court must consider in determining the child's best interests include, but are not limited to:
The burden of proof is on the parent requesting to move the residence of the child to another state, except that if the court finds that the person requesting permission to move has been a victim of domestic abuse by the other parent, the burden of proof is upon the parent opposing the move.
When making their decision whether or not to allow the move, the court will look at the reasons the parent wants to move, such as employment or family connections. In particular, be prepared to show:
The Court will consider the impact this move out of state will have on your children. It is entirely possible that the benefits of increased pay, or closer proximity to extended family members, do not outweigh the benefits your children enjoy right now as a result of a consistent, ongoing, in-person relationship with their other parent.
Ultimately, the court will make its decision based on what is in the best interest of the child.
There are remedies available if your child has been moved out of state without your permission or a court order.
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