Whether you can remove your child from the state of Washington without the others parent’s knowledge depends on the court ordered parenting plan. If your plan says you have to have permission or give notice to travel to another state, then you have to ask permission. If the parenting plan doesn’t say anything regarding travel to another state, you don’t have to ask for permission while it is your time. As a practical matter, you should tell the other parent because that is what good people do to cooperate in raising their children.
Of course, if your intent is to move out of state with your child, the situation is quite different. Every parenting plan contains the Washington law that explains the time frame for notifying the other parent. Failing to follow the law may mean that your child will be moving in with your ex instead of to the other state with you.
If you and your ex do not already have a parenting plan in place, you are not required to follow Washington’s relocation statutes for custodians of children. However, there are criminal custodial interference laws that may apply if you take your child out of state to an unknown location with the intent to deny the other parent any access to the child.
Child custody cases can be extremely complicated, lengthy, emotional, and stressful, particularly if there are issues related to a parent’s relocation, whether in state or out of state. The attorneys of Pacific Northwest Family Law can help you coparent the right way with practical advice on how the law applies to your particular situation. Please contact our office if you have any questions about family law in the state of Washington.