It is easily the worst scenario imaginable in a divorce. First, the courts side with your ex and give them primary custody of your children, relegating you to weekends or visitation. Then, your ex breaks the news that they’re getting remarried or took a new job and now they’re moving to Michigan or Indiana.

Suddenly, you have to make a decision about whether you want to stay in the place you have lived for years or follow your children to a completely new place. You shouldn’t have to uproot your entire life just to retain your parental relationship with your children.

Understanding your rights as a parent after an Ohio divorce can help assuage your concerns of completely losing out on the relationship with your children after a divorce and make it easier for you to stand up for your rights.

Ohio doesn’t let one parent take the kids away from the other

When deciding how to allocate parental responsibilities in a divorce, the biggest concern for the Ohio courts will be the best interest of the children. In other words, the courts want to focus on the needs of the children, not the parents.

Typically, children benefit the most from ongoing and positive relationships with both of their parents after a divorce. The courts will take care in the creation of a custody plan to ensure that it prioritizes both parents.

If your ex has a reason to leave the state of Ohio, they can’t just pack your kids up and disappear. Although parents do occasionally attempt to flee the state in which they divorce, that practice is parental kidnapping, and it is illegal.

The courts will have to approve any move your ex makes

When your ex decides that they want to move somewhere new, whether it is the next state or simply outside of the geographic area detailed in your parenting plan, they will have to file a notice with the court. This formal notice will provide the courts with information about where they want to move and why. That allows the courts an opportunity to notify you of their intent to move. It also provides you with an opportunity to counter that request.

If you have any sort of documentation proving that your ex wants to move as a means of cutting you off from the kids, such as threatening emails, that could help you convince the courts not to grant the request to move. Unfortunately, if your ex has a compelling reason to move, such as a substantially better job or family support elsewhere, the court may still approve their request. However, they may also alter the terms of the custody arrangement at that time.

If you think that your ex is going to try to take your kids far away from you, it’s probably time to sit down with a family law attorney to talk about your rights and your options.