Seek Permission to Move with Your Child Before You Do

Mother and daughter at an airport

Relocation of a custodial parent is one of the hardest issues we face in family law. You might ask, “what is the right way to do it?” Some states have detailed statutes on the matter. Mississippi does not have a relocation statute. Some people take a chance and just move and dare the other party to find a way to stop it or bring them back. That can work. However, it can also backfire. There are cases where Mothers have lost custody of their children for concealing a move. In a recent case, the father found out about a move to St. Louis and filed an emergency petition to keep the children enrolled in their current school in Brandon until the custody case could be decided. The court granted the emergency petition, thus making it impractical for Mom to move. When the hearing was held, the Court found that if the Mother moved, it would be in the best interests of the children to stay in Mississippi. The Court made this finding, even though the parties 14-year-old daughter wanted to move. The court of appeals affirmed the decision. Voss v Doughty, NO. 2016-CA-01799-COA.

The best path to follow is to seek permission for the move in advance of the move.

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