What Happens if I Move After a Divorce?

There are a few things to consider if you want to move after a divorce. On one hand, this action is completely understandable. Spouses often want to put as much distance between them and their exes after a divorce – particularly if the split was not amicable. On the other hand, it is important that you consider the consequences of moving away from your ex before you make any hasty decisions.

Moving Away May Affect Custody

The first thing you need to consider is whether or not your decision to move will affect custody. Remember, judges in Georgia always try to protect the child’s best interests. The general consensus is that it is not in a child’s best interests to spend hours each week traveling between parents’ homes. You also need to consider the psychological impact of moving your child away from their home community and school.

A shared custody arrangement between parents who live on opposite sides of the nation just is not viable. Arrangements where children spend one month in one state and one month in another state are not unheard of, but they are rare. It does not make sense for a child to jump back and forth between different schools while experiencing any kind of consistency in their education. 

Even if you are the primary physical custodian, you probably still need to get permission from your ex before you move. The most common scenario is shared legal custody, which involves two parents having equal say in major, life-altering decisions that affect the children. Moving may cause your spouse to petition for a modification of the child custody arrangement, and you could lose certain visitation rights as a result of moving away. 

Moving to a Different State Does Not Affect Protective Orders

One thing that is not affected by moving to a different state is a protective order. These legal court orders are recognized under federal law, which means that every other state in the nation needs to respect them. Even if a court in Georgia issued the protective order, it will still be valid in other states – giving you the freedom to move without fear of being followed and harassed by an abuser. 

Your Financial Situation May Change

The last thing you need to consider is the cost of living. Other states may offer cheaper or more expensive living costs, and you should factor this in when moving. Your altered cost of living may also form the basis for modification of support agreements under certain situations. Georgia has some of the lowest living costs in the entire nation. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Family Law Attorney in Georgia?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced family law attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses plan effectively for their post-divorce futures. We know that moving away is a tempting option – and there is nothing stopping you from doing this. But you may want to book a consultation with us first to understand how this decision might affect your life going forward. Reach out today to get started with an effective action plan. 


I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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