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Can your ex leave Ohio and take your shared children away?

As you move through the process of divorce, you could find yourself wishing you would never have to see your ex again. Of course, since you have children together, that kind of clean break won't be an option. You will have to see your former spouse every time you exchange custody and on important days for your children, such as graduations or birthdays.

Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that your ex could decide to move out of Ohio as part of moving on with their life after the divorce. If they have primary custody, you could find yourself in a situation where you live hours away from your child, which means regular visits will be prohibitively difficult in the future.

While it is normal to worry about circumstances that could negatively impact your relationship with your children, your ex can't just pack up and leave after a divorce.

Your existing custody order restricts how far your ex can move with your child

The custody order or parenting plan created as part of your divorce will include specific terms to help facilitate your attempt to share custody. The courts may place some limits on travel, as well as relocating, after a divorce. Travel restrictions aren't always included, but they can be part of a parenting plan if either of you expressed concern about the potential for the other to disappear with the children.

Restrictions on relocations are far more common. The courts will typically limit how far either parent can move after the divorce without affecting the parenting plan. Sometimes, they require that the family stay in the same school district. Other times, there may be a geographic location based on a number of miles or even the county. Any relocation that exceeds those limits will require court approval.

You have the right to ask the courts to not approve a relocation request

Current custody statutes in Ohio necessitate that the custodial parent who wants to move must inform both the courts and their ex well before such a move takes place. The custodial parent will essentially have to request a modification from the courts in order to move forward with the relocation process.

If you don't agree with the specific terms requested by your ex, it will be a contested modification, meaning the courts will listen to both of your opinions on the move before making a determination. In some cases, they may approve the move, although other times they may deny the request and even increase your parenting time as a result of such a request.

Even if your ex does move, the adjustments the courts make to your parenting plan will likely ensure that you have adequate time with your children regardless of where they live.

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Kelly Law Office, LLC
136 West Mound Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: 614-556-4280
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