Moving Minor Children Long Distances During Divorce

Treadaway & Treadaway June 28, 2018

Your domicile is the place you live and count as your home. It is different from residency. Though you have to be a resident of Georgia for six months in order to file for divorce, you must also be domiciled, except in certain circumstances. For example, if you a member of the military, you are a resident but are not domiciled in Georgia unless that is your permanent residence. You are still able to file a divorce action if you are a member of the military and you reside in Georgia.

Your children are domiciled in the same county as you. When you file for divorce, your children registered at the custodial parent’s address if one spouse lives in a different county. If you are also a resident of another state or country, your spouse may be domiciled in a specific county in Georgia – and that is where the child would be domiciled.

In most cases, because it is in the best interests of the minor children to have the influence of both parents, one parent cannot move out of state or out of the country with the minor child without permission from the other spouse or the court. In some cases, depending on how the final judgment is drafted, the child cannot even be moved to another county.

If you wish to move to a different state or a different county and your spouse does not agree, you will have to move the court to make the decision. The court will look at your entire situation, the reasons you want to move the child, and the reasons your spouse submits as to why you shouldn’t move the child to another state or country.

The court will then rule on whether the child may be moved. In most cases in which both parents are a part of the child’s life and both parents are actively taking care of the child, the court will deny the request to permanently remove the child from the country or move the child to another state. If moving the child is based upon a very good reason, such as a job that pays significantly higher than your current wages, the court may consider it, but will most likely order the person moving to pay all long-distance travel costs so that the child may visit the local spouse as often as possible.

If your spouse is asking to permanently move the child out of the country or out of state, or if you need to move to another state or country for a good reason and your spouse does not agree, contact our family law attorneys at Treadaway and Treadaway.