Can I relocate my child out of state without other parent’s consent?

Rhode Island child relocation lawyer, David Slepkow answers several pertinent family law questions. These questions will be very informative to parents who seek to relocate with their child or children out of state. This post will be informative to parents who oppose such relocation.

If there are no Rhode Island visitation or custody orders regarding my child, can I relocate my child without the permission of the other parent?

Relocation of child

Child relocation in Family Court

This article only pertains to Rhode Island family law. Technically, if there are NO Court orders, it is not illegal to relocate your child out of the State of Rhode Island without the other parent’s consent. This is not kidnapping. However, you must notify the other parent where you are relocating to.

You must provide contact information. However, I strongly advise against relocating your child or minor children without the other parent’s consent.  This type of relocation under the cover of darkness can be very harmful to your child.

The other parent may file in Rhode Island Family Court seeking a temporary restraining order, ordering that you immediately return the child to Rhode Island.

This type of relocation of your children is at your own risk. You could pay a severe penalty! This type of relocation could cause you to lose physical custody of your child. If you are ordered back and you left without permission of the other parent this could seriously impede your chances to relocate the child in the future.

Can I relocate without Court permission after a Rhode Island Divorce or RI Child Custody case has been filed?

No. Upon the Plaintiff signing a Rhode Island Divorce Complaint, an automatic order enters preventing either party from relocating the child out of state without the other party’s consent until the Rhode Island Family Court Makes a decision. Please consult with Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer, David Slepkow.

If I have Court Ordered Physical placement but there is a Family Court ordered visitation schedule can I relocate out of Rhode Island (RI)?

No. However, you may be able to relocate if you still can comply with the visitation order wherever you are relocating.  You need to speak with a Rhode Island relocation attorney before effectuating such a move. For example, if the father has every other weekend visitation and the mother with physical possession wants to relocate to Canton Massachusetts, the mother may be able to legally move so long as the mother will still be providing father court ordered visits and all visitation and pickup and drop-offs remain the same.

If relocation will cause you to violate a Court order or Court ordered Visitation then you must file a motion to relocate out of state and change the visitation schedule. If you relocate and do not provide court ordered visitation you could be held in willful contempt and could potentially lose custody of your child or pay another penalty. If the other parent has “all reasonable rights of visitation” then you cannot relocate unless you can continue to provide reasonable visitation rights after the relocation.

What if there is already an order preventing me from relocating out of state?

If you relocate without Court permission, then you risk willful contempt and incarceration. You must file a motion to relocate. Please consult with Rhode Island Family Lawyer David Slepkow 401-437-1100. If you are found in willful contempt, the penalties could include incarceration and payment of the opposing party’s attorney fees.

Pursuant to RI Law, what is the proper way to relocate out of State Rhode Island (RI) with the children?

You must file a motion for permission to relocate the children out of state in Rhode Island Family Court. Please read the seminal case of Dupre v. Dupre which explains the standard for relocation in Rhode Island (RI). The general standard is the “best interest of the child”. Please consult with a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer or a RI Child Custody Attorney to determine your chances to be able to relocate out of state. The standard for relocation is beyond the scope of this Rhode Island Child Custody Law Article.

What is the general standard for out of state relocation under Rhode Island Child Custody and RI Divorce Law?

There are many important factors set forth in Dupre. The general standard is the “best interest of the child.”