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Legal Information: North Carolina


December 22, 2023

If there is a custody order in place, can I take my kids out of the state?

The custody order may allow you to take your kids out of the state, prohibit you from taking the kids out of the state, or not address this issue.  The judge may require that you post money (a bond) or other security conditioned upon the return of the child to the state.  If either you or the other parent take a child out of the state with the intent of violating the custody order, either of you may be charged with a felony.1

If your order says you cannot take the child out of state or doesn’t address it, you may have to return to court to get permission to leave the state with the child, depending on how long you plan to be outside of the state.  We strongly suggest that you talk to a lawyer who can review your custody order and advise you on what steps you need to take. Go to NC Finding a Lawyer for free and paid legal referrals.

1 NCGS § 14-320.1