If you are the custodial parent moving out of state with child, there are a few requirements and stipulations under Washington law of which you need to be aware.

Child Custody and Moving Out of State: No Existing Court Order

If you have no existing court order regarding the other parent’s or third party’s visitation rights with the child, then you are probably within your legal rights to move outside of the state, as Washington State’s relocation laws do not apply to you. However, you should be aware of custodial interference requirements.

Custodial Interference Laws

Even if you do not have an existing court order that restricts or allows another party (parent, grandparent, etc.) the right to visitation with the child, you still need to be aware of custodial interference laws if you plan to move out of state.

Custodial interference laws make it a crime to attempt to hide a child from another parent, even when no parenting plan has been formed. This can be interpreted broadly, as either moving residence or a simple weekend trip.

When There is an Existing Court Order

If there is an existing court order that allows other parties visitation rights with your child or you are moving out of state with joint custody, then you will need to fill out a number of court forms. Submit these forms in a timely manner. They will inform the parties of your intent to relocate. You must give notice of your intention to move within 60 days of the moving date.

You can file your notice of intent to move to the same court in which you filed for divorce, or in the court where your parenting plan was filed. If you do not give notice, then you may face legal consequences. After filing notice, you will have to wait until you receive a court order before legally moving the child.

Consult with an Attorney About Relocation Laws in Washington State

If you have questions about Washington State’s relocation laws, you should consult with an attorney. Whether you’re the custodial or the non-custodial parent, the lawyers at The Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny can help you understand your rights and options. For more information about how the law applies to your situation, contact our offices now for a case consultation at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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