My Ex Said She Wants to Move, but We Share 50/50 Custody; Can She Move and Take the Kids?

Moving after divorce is always a mess.

It’s hard enough to do when everyone’s on the same page. It becomes much more complicated when everyone’s on different pages.

But, life happens, and people move, so it’s a pretty normal issue divorced couples deal with.

How do you handle moving when there are kids involved and you share 50/50 custody?

Can one parent just decide to move and then take the kids?

First thing: a parent can’t just move without providing notice.

Under Utah law, a parent has to give notice sixty days before he or she moves. If a parent doesn’t give notice, and the parent takes the kids, the court will make the kids come back to Utah.

Second thing: if parents share 50/50 custody, there’s not much chance the kids are moving from Utah.

If you share 50/50 custody and someone wants to move away, the parent who wants to move will need to file a petition to modify custody. That is a process that will take a long time and cost a lot of money.

In other words, you can’t just say you want to move, and then move and take the kids.

(Note: if one parent has sole physical custody (i.e., more than 70% of the overnights with the kids), then that parent can probably move without much of a problem. But 50/50 is joint physical custody, which is a totally different situation.)

Bottom Line

If you share 50/50 custody, it’s very unlikely your ex will be able to move away and take the kids.

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If you find yourself facing a Utah divorce, please call 801.685.9999 for an in-person consultation, or use our online scheduling tool.

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