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Can I move out of the Commonwealth of Virginia and take my child with me?


The decision to move out of the Commonwealth of Virginia with your child should not be taken lightly. Most court orders require that parents provide thirty days’ advance written notice to the Court and to the other parent of ANY relocation—even within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Therefore, you will want to check any previous court orders or your divorce decree to see if the issue of relocation is specifically addressed. In the absence of a court order requiring advance notice of your intention, unless the other parent consents in writing to the relocation, you should anticipate having to establish to a judge that your relocation is in your child’s best interest. In Virginia, your relocation is likely to be construed as a “change of circumstances” sufficient to permit a full custody evaluation and relocation without consent would be a factor to be weighed in this custody evaluation.

Seek the counsel of a qualified family law attorney to help you understand the implications of your decision to move out of state and to prepare to meet your substantial burden of proof.


An outstanding job on my case to have custody, visitation and support decided in my home state instead of Virginia after I separated from military service.- A.E.