If there is a custody order in place, can I move or take my kids out of the state?
Maybe. If you want to change the child's residence (move in-state) or take your child out of Kansas for more than 90 days, you will need to inform your child’s other parent by mail at least 30 days before you plan on moving or leaving the state. The notice that you send to the other parent must be sent by restricted mail. This means that you must ask the post office for a “return receipt” so that you can be sure that it arrived.1 If you do not give notice to your child’s other parent, you may possibly be breaking the law and can be punished. You may also have to pay the other parent for his/her attorney's fees.2 However, if you have legal custody or residency of the child, you are not required to give this type of notice to the other parent when the other parent has been convicted of any of the following crimes in which the child is the victim of such crime:
- violent crimes, listed here (chapter 21, article 54);
- sex offenses, listed here (chapter 21, article 55);
- crimes against children, listed here (chapter 21, article 56);
- unlawful disclosure of tax information (21-6104);
- unlawful interference with a firefighter (21-6325);
- unlawful interference with an emergency medical services attendant (21-6326);
- permitting a dangerous animal to be at large (21-6418);
- prostitution (21-6419);
- promoting prostitution (21-6420);
- patronizing a prostitute (21-6421); or
- commercial sexual exploitation of a child (21-6422).3
If you believe that the other parent was convicted of one of these crimes listed above, we suggest confirming with an attorney that you are not required to give notice. You can find legal referrals on our KS Finding a Lawyer page.
Note: The other parent can ask the court to change the existing order of custody, residency, child support or parenting time based on your planned move. When deciding whether to change the order, the judge will consider:
- how move affects the best interests of the child;
- how the move affects the rights of the other parent or anyone else with rights to the child;
- how much more money the move would cost the other parent when seeing the child.4
We recommend getting an attorney to help you before you try to file anything. Please see KS Finding a Lawyer page for legal help in your area.
1 K.S.A. § 23-3222(a)
2 K.S.A. § 23-3222(b)
3 K.S.A. § 23-3222(d)
4 K.S.A. § 23-3222(c)