Each state has child custody relocation laws, so you need to check the law before relocating with your child. North Carolina allows you to move without permission as long as you stay close to the previous residence. If you’re moving far away or to another state, then you need permission from the other parent or from the court.
Sole or majority custody
Having sole or majority physical child custody isn’t an exception to North Carolina’s rules on relocation. You still need permission from the other parent or from the court when you’re moving far away or into another state. Check the terms of your child custody order to know how far away you can move. If it doesn’t specify, then anything that is out of state or a few hours away requires legal permission.
Penalties for relocating without permission
North Carolina may give a higher percentage of custody to the other parent when you relocate without permission. The state could go as far as changing the child custody order to the other parent having sole custody. North Carolina also has the right to bring your child back to the state.
Be aware that the judge has the right to decline your request for relocation, even if the other parent agrees to it. The judge only gives permission if the relocation is in the best interest of the child. Better education opportunities and quality of life are usually acceptable reasons to approve the move.
However, it’s important that the move isn’t to get away from the other parent. Other factors that influence approval of the request include the child’s attachment to their current home, the ability for the other parent to continue seeing their child and how likely it is that you’ll honor the new visitation schedule.
Having sole physical custody over a child doesn’t mean that you can move as far away as you want. You’ll need permission from the court if you’re intending to relocate out of state or even several hours away.