Your Guide Through Challenging Times

Can I move out of state with my child after a divorce?

| Dec 19, 2020 | Divorce |

After settling your divorce, you may consider moving out of state. Perhaps you want to live closer to your family? Maybe you have a new job opportunity? As a parent, however, the terms of your child custody and visitation agreements may affect your ability to make this type of life change. 

When deciding how to parent your child after your divorce, you as parents or the court may have established joint physical or sole physical custody. This designation specifies whether your child will share similar time between both parents’ residences or primarily live with one parent. It may also play an essential role in deciding if and how you can move out of state with your child. 

Joint physical custody

According to the Judicial Council of California, if you share physical custody of your child, then you may need permission to move out of state. In such circumstances, if your child’s other parent does not agree to the relocation, you may seek approval from the court. The court may consider factors, including the parenting agreement you have in place and your actual parenting schedule, to decide if the move serves your child’s best interests. 

Sole physical custody

If you have primary physical custody of your child, you may not need permission from your child’s other parent to relocate. The other parent may make a legal objection. The court may not block your move unless the other parent shows the relocation would cause your child harm. Should you have only a temporary primary physical custody order, you may still need permission from your child’s other parent or the court to legally relocate out of the state.