Loganville, GA asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Georgia

Q: Can I legally move out and take my biological daughter with me (keeping same state/school) if my wife wont move too?

We have been living with MIL who is controlling and under minds/ignores our parenting, as a result our daughter (prek age) gets confused and acts out a lot more if the parenting was left to her actual parents. My wife feels obligated to stay even though it stresses her/everyone out being here. We have had opportunities to move out before, but she/we always have backed out. I would like to break this cycle and move out and at very least take our daughter with me (hoping my wife will come to). We would still visit MIL but it is not beneficial for any of us to keep living here.

3 Lawyer Answers

Homer P Jordan IV

  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Both parents legally have the right to take their child and leave the state, depending on the circumstances involved. But it may not be a wise thing to do. She could equally take the child to another state away from you. It sounds like you want to get out of your MIL's house, and that I understand, perhaps you should have a serious conversation and say it's time to move out of their home. Are you divorcing your wife? If so, I would still recommend not leaving the state with her without having went through the divorce process and allowed the judge to make custody decisions. -Homer P. Jordan IV, Esq. 404-620-1558 HomerJordan.com

Kim Ebert

  • Lithia Springs, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Uh, you should not just leave the State with a child, even if there's not a pending action. Jurisdiction lies where a child has lived for the past 6 months.... it's the "Home State" of the child with all the attendant legal ramifications.

Back to the facts of your case which have nothing to do with leaving the state, since you want to stay in the same "school district," it's still best to keep your ducks in a row with the aid of an attorney. Timing is everything. Talk to a competent attorney before making a jump.

Regina Irene Edwards

  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: My colleagues are correct. Even though you have a legal right to leave and take your child, it could backfire quickly and spectacularly. Talk to an attorney about your options before you do anything.

Homer P Jordan IV agrees with this answer

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