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Legal Information: North Dakota


Laws current as of
December 28, 2023

If there is a custody order in place, can I move to another state with my kids?

If you have equal or primary residential responsibility for the child and the other parent has any parenting time, then you cannot move to another state unless the other parent consents or you get permission from the judge.1 If the other parents consents, it is a good idea to get the consent in writing and have it notarized so that you could prove the consent if you had to.

You do not need to get the judge’s permission to move out of state if the other parent:

  • has not used his/her parenting time at all for a period of one year or more; or
  • has moved to another state and is more than fifty miles from your home (assuming you are the primary residential parent).2

Please note that regardless of what is explained above, your custody order may have specific terms about moving out of state. Please be sure to check your order or show it to an attorney if you are unsure whether or not you can move out of state with your child.

Note: If you take your child out of state (even briefly) and it violates the other parent’s parenting time rights in your custody order, you may be at risk of committing a class C felony crime.3 If you are unsure about whether or not you can legally leave the state, please speak to a lawyer for advice. For legal referrals, you can go to our ND Finding a Lawyer page.

1 N.D. Cent. Code § 14-09-07(1), (2)
2 N.D. Cent. Code § 14-09-07(3)
3 N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-18-05