North Carolina judges make child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. However, sometimes family situations change.
What happens when parents need to move to another state with their child?
Moving to North Carolina from another state
If you have a custody agreement in a different state and you move to North Carolina, you must continue to comply with the agreement made in your previous state. If you need to modify this agreement, a judge in your former state will make decisions for as long as the child’s other parent continues to live in the state. However, if the other parent moves out of your former state, you may ask the North Carolina courts to take over your case.
Moving to another state from North Carolina
If your child’s other parent agrees, you can request a custody modification that takes your out-of-state move into account. A judge must agree to the modification and you and the child’s other parent must both sign the new agreement.
If you and your child’s other parent can not agree, then you need to convince the court that moving to another state is in your child’s best interest. The judge will consider factors that affect the quality of your child’s life, such as whether you are moving to take advantage of a higher-paying job, to accommodate a new marriage or to be closer to family.
Out-of-state moves can be a contentious issue between parents because of the logistical challenges the non-custodial parent faces to maintain a relationship with the child. However, it is possible to obtain a judge’s permission if you can prove the move benefits your child.