During a separation or divorce, especially a contentious one, your spouse may leave the state without telling you, taking your kids along with them. When this happens, your first question should be, are there custody lawyers near me? Here’s what to do when you find out your kids and your spouse are no longer in the same state as you.
If They Plan to Leave
If you learn that your spouse plans to leave the state with your children, the first thing you need to do is contact a lawyer. Unfortunately, unless there are drastic circumstances where your child’s life may in danger, a parent wanting to relocate with the child, by itself, is generally not enough for an emergency hearing in South Carolina. Therefore, timing is critical in getting your matter before a judge as soon as you can.
If They’ve Already Left
If your spouse has already left the area with your child, don’t panic. You may have legal recourse to get them back. First, call your divorce or custody lawyer for assistance. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may be able to file for an emergency hearing, requesting the return of your child and seeking a change of custody. It may be very beneficial if you have proof the other parent removed the child without your permission.
Don’t Wait to Contact Your Lawyer
If your spouse plans to leave or has left the state, don’t wait to contact your divorce lawyer. Waiting to act may create the perception that you agreed to the move or that you don’t have concerns about the child being away from you for an extended period with your spouse in another state. A favorable court ruling requiring the other parent to return the child to South Carolina will take careful planning between you and your attorney. As with all family court matters, but particularly relocation cases, the court will scrutinize why the parent left with the child and will decide what is in the best interest of your child.
If your spouse takes your children out of the state without your permission, we’re here to help. Contact the experienced legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC, for help navigating the family courts for custody.