MN Family Law Attorney

Minnesota's Family Law Resource

Moving with a Child

Moving with a child is a concern many parents have with their children.  Sometimes a new job opportunity or better familial supports exist someplace else.  These may make life better for the child, but at a cost of losing potentially a lot of contact with the other parent.

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Moving with a Child out of State

If the non-moving parent has parenting time rights with the child, then in order to move out of Minnesota with the child the moving parent must either get an order from a Judge to be allowed to do so or sign and submit a written agreement between the parents to allow the move.

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If the non-moving parent does not agree, it is very difficult to have a Judge approve a move.  It is presumed that it is in the best interests of the child that he or she have access to both parents. Judges realize that a move in many cases may mean effectively cutting off direct contact with the non-moving parent.

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Best advice is to at least try to come to some kind of agreement with the other parent that allows the move.

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If the non-moving parent, however, does not have parenting time ordered, the custodial parent may move without his or her permission and without court order.  This can often be a strategic decision as the non-custodial parent may simply immediately motion the court to have the child returned to establish parenting time.  Usually this hearing would be granted.

Moving with a Child within Minnesota

Currently, there is no restriction on moving with a child within Minnesota.  No permission is needed from the other parent nor from the court, even if the other parent has parenting time.

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This creates the odd scenario that someone could move from St. Paul to Brainerd without permission, but could not move from Woodbury to Hudson, Wisconsin.

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However, again as a practical matter, if one parent were to all of a sudden move far away within in the state, the other parent could motion the court to return the child so a hearing could be held on the move and whether it was in the child’s best interests.

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