Can I Move Out of State After a California Divorce?

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our divorce attorney in San Bernardino, California understands how enticing it might be to get a fresh start after ending a marriage.

For those who do not share minor children with their ex-spouse, a move out of state can happen any time after the divorce is final, without notice.

However, parents with minor children who have a child custody agreement in place must follow legal guidelines to relocate — especially if the parent who is moving is the primary custodian of the children — before taking the kids out of state.

Our Certified Family Law Specialist has a few tips for making the move a little easier for everyone involved.

Be Sure to Comply with All Existing Custody Agreements

Planning to relocate with or without your children can be difficult when you have an existing child custody agreement in place. However, it is not impossible.

Whether the kids currently live with you, if you share parenting time half and half with the other parent, or if you see your kids twice a week, be sure to comply with the existing custody agreement without issue.

Next, do not begin moving until all the necessary approvals are in place, or you may face serious legal consequences.

Petition the Court for Child Custody Modification

If the parents cannot agree to a modified parenting plan on their own, they must petition the court for the modification.

There are two sides to child custody modification requests:

  • You are the parent who wants to relocate with the children, which will require requesting legal permission for the move, complete with a modified custody order and new visitation plan.
  • You are the parent who wants to prevent the other parent from moving with the children.

A relocation hearing will allow each parent to voice their side of the argument, as the court’s primary question will be whether relocating is in the best interests of the children.

No matter which side of the argument you are on, you will need to build your case with tangible evidence that supports the theory that moving with the children, or keeping the existing agreement, will create a better experience for your children.

A child custody attorney in San Bernardino can help build your case for success.

Design a New Committed Parenting Plan

Any move is going to affect the other parent’s relationship with your children, simply because of the distance, which is why it is important to outline a thorough parenting plan before requesting a change.

The parenting plan must be specific and include visitation time frames, including school breaks, and how you plan to keep the children in touch with the other parent while they are away. That could include access to a cellphone for calls and texting, or planned Zoom or Skype meetings throughout the week.

When you can show the court you are committed to maintaining a close relationship between your children and the other parent, your case may have a better chance of success.

If you would like to relocate with your children, or if you oppose the move, contact our San Bernardino County family law attorney at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss your concerns, so we can create a customized legal approach for your unique needs.

Testimonials

A year and a half ago, before I hired Ms. Holcomb, my ex and I tried to handle the divorce ourselves using the assistance of one of those “divorce mill” attorneys (Uncontested Divorce). My understanding is that these specific attorneys don’t side wit… Read more

Mildred Flores

When I called the offices of Joyce Holcomb, I was in a position were I felt as though I was at the end of my rope. My case had been going for over 2 years. I had an attorney previously and she had failed to move my case forward. It seemed to me that… Read more

Stephen P. Taylor
  • Tell Us About Your Case

  • The Law Office of Joyce M. Holcomb, CFLS