Can I Move with the Children?

Welcome to Splitsville | Navigating Divorce in a Modern World

Apr 1 2019 • 19 mins

Are you divorced or separated with children and considering a move, either just for yourself or with a new partner? The elevatable question pops up, can move with my children, to another city or another state, away from the other parent? If that sounds like you or you are interested in finding out more about this complicated child custody issue and how North or South Carolina deal with it, you have come to the right place. Welcome to Splitsville.

One way a move can occur is with the consent or approval of the other parent (3:42). With consent, the moving parent must remember the most important thing to the other parent is likely access to the child. What needs to be considered here is how the moving parent might make it easy for the other parent to remain a constant figure in the child’s life while living out of town.

If the situation comes down to a fight in court, regardless of if a custody order needs to be modified or if one is currently being considered, the Court will always consider what is in the best interest of the child…not the parent (6:33). That means the moving parent has the burden of showing the court how the child or the children are explicitly going to benefit from a move. There is a presumption that having both parents close by will be the best situation for the child. This presumption can be strengthened or weakened by the level of involvement of the parent seeking to block a move. The Court will also look at the moving parent’s motive for the move, and the other parents motive to challenge the move. The distance of the move will also factor in a Court’s decision because great distance may make parenting time more difficult and travel expenses too great. Modern technology has changed this issue some with the ability to communicate and be present virtually more accessible to more families; it can make a move a bit easier. Also, the age of the child is a consideration, the more activities children are in the community or sporting events, the more difficult a move. If a court finds that a move is not in the child’s best interest, a parent may still move but without the children (11:48). This could mean a change in the custodial parent may need to occur.

This is a very tough issue. If you have questions about moving with children after or during a divorce, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at

The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at