What if I worry that the custodial parent wants to move away?

Your lawyer can file what is called a motion for a status quo. These can be filed either before a General Judgment is filed, or after a General Judgment is filed. Basically the procedure is the same, notice is given to the other party, and the Judge signs the Order that states the other person cannot move until your matter is resolved. A Status Quo can keep the other parent at the same address until the matter is resolved, or just keep your parenting time the same, it depends on how its worded and filed.

These motions are often filed when a married couple decides to separate for the first time. In that case,
both parties want the children to maintain the routine they were in before the separation with the least disruption as possible. Sometimes however, these motions are filed when one party tries to take the child away from “home” and go somewhere unfamiliar to the child. In those cases, the other parent will file the motion with the goal of forcing the parent who wants to take off, to stay until the case is resolved. Other times these motions are filed when one party has decided to “move away”. The other person often has received notice of the proposed move away, and its typical to respond by filing a status quo. In other words, no moving away until the Court decides if moving away is in the best interests of the child.

This is typical language in a status quo order, the order prevents the party from:

Changing the child’s usual place of residence;

  1. (b)  Interfering with the child’s present placement and daily schedule;
  2. (c)  Hiding or secreting the child from the other party;
  3. (d)  Interfering with the other party’s usual contact and parenting time with the child;
  4. (e)  Leaving the state with the child without the written permission of the other parent or the permission of the court; and
  5. (f)  In any other manner disturbing the current schedule and daily routine of the child until further order of the court or until the parties otherwise agree in writing.

The party who receives the request for an order for a status quo has the right to request a hearing on the status quo order and challenge what the other person claimed is in fact the status quo.

These kinds of motions are often filed in custody cases or in cases seeking to modify custody. Basically they seek to keep everything the way it is, until a court makes a decision.