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January 13, 2021
How To Initiate A Move Out of State With Children

After a divorce, it’s perfectly understandable to want to start a new life in a different geographical location. This sometimes means moving to another state. It could be for a better career opportunity, closer to friends or family, or simply providing a better environment for your children. However, out-of-state moves don’t always go smoothly, especially if the other parent objects. It’s essential to keep in mind that the state where the child resides has jurisdiction over all custody matters and that state laws vary. Because of discrepancies between individual states, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) exists to enable the courts in different states and even other countries to work together in child custody and visitation matters. 

Fortunately, California law is generous when it comes to these situations. Like granting custodial parents what is termed the presumptive right to move out of state, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t proper procedures that people must follow. Here’s what you need to know about how to initiate a move to a different state with your children. 

Discuss the Matter With Your Ex

The first step to move out of state with their children is to discuss the matter with the other parent. The best-case scenario is that the ex-spouse poses no serious objection. Which occurs when the move is to a neighboring state close enough so that visitation won’t pose a hardship. If the other party does have objections to the action, professional mediation may be the next step. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that unless extenuating circumstances exist, your ex probably cannot keep you from moving as long as you proceed through the proper channels. However, they may ask the court to revisit and evaluate the terms of the custody agreement. 

Provide Clear Notice in Writing to the Other Parent

California law requires that sole custodians provide the noncustodial parent with notification of the upcoming move at least 45 days in advance about any plans on their part to move. Those who share joint custody with the other parent are required to file for a “move away” order with the court — and this applies even if your home is the child’s primary residence.

As you can see, moving out of state with a child is possible for current California residents. However, even if you and your ex-spouse seem to be on the same page about your upcoming plans to move, it’s nonetheless wise to consult with an experienced family law attorney before moving forward with relocation plans. Please feel free to contact our family law office in Ventura, CA, for more information. 

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