My final divorce decree includes a provision that restricts my ability to live in the same city as my ex-wife.
Can a divorce decree include restricting where a noncustodial father can live?
I am not licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction, but I can provide you with a general answer to your divorce and child custody question.
Courts possess the ability to restrict the individual liberty of individuals when they pose a threat to the safety of others. In most safety concern cases, courts will issue injunctions that prohibit a party from contacting the victim or coming within a certain distance of that party.
Distance restrictions usually prohibit people from entering the same building as the victim or coming within a certain number of feet. Litigants are also free to stipulate to orders that restrict their communication or contact with each other.
In some divorce cases, a spouse may seek an injunction against the other party if he or she is the victim of abuse or feels threatened.
If such an injunction is issued, the Family Court may incorporate those limitations in the final divorce decree, but a court is generally without the ability to simply prohibit a person from living in an entire city. On the other hand, parties are free to include their own unique provisions in their divorce decree.
Even if no injunction exists, the parties can still agree to limit their geographical contact with each other and ask the court to enforce that agreement.
Unhappy With Your Divorce Case?Can Your Appeal?
In your case, it is unclear whether you agreed to this city-wide prohibition or if the court ordered the condition on its own. Your living limitation raises several constitutional issues and enforcement questions.
If the court ordered you out of the city, you may be able to strike down the provision because the court is unconstitutionally interfering with your liberties. If you agreed to this provision, you may have waived any constitutional objections but the issue of enforcement still remains.
To fully advise you on your situation, a complete understanding of your situation is necessary. I recommend contacting a family law attorney to review your case.