The further you get from your divorce in Virginia, the more acclimated you, your ex-spouse and your kids become to your new situation. That may include the lessening of any residual tension between you and your ex-spouse from your separation. Unfortunately, that may all come rushing back if and when you tell your ex-spouse you want to move away (and take your kids with you).
Many in your same position wonder whether their ex-spouses can potentially block their moves. If you share the same concern, knowing what the law expects of you in this situation may help your chances of keeping that from happening.
Notifying your ex-spouse of your intentions
You likely guessed that the law does not permit you to simply move away with your kids. Indeed, according to Section 20-124.5 of the Code of Virginia, you must provide your ex-spouse (as well as the court having jurisdiction over your case) with notice of your intention to move at least 30 days prior to it happening. There may be special situations where the unique circumstances of your case warrant you not notifying your ex-spouse in this scenario (such as a history of violence between you or your kids and your ex-spouse). However, the court must still grant permission to you to not provide notice.
Working with your ex-spouse prior to your move
Your notice to your ex-spouse should include a proposed revised custody arrangement. If your ex-spouse objects to your proposal, they can petition the court to modify your custody arrangement. You might be able to avoid this scenario by working with your ex-spouse well in advance of your move to come up with a revised custody agreement together.