Can you relocate with your kids after your divorce?
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Can you relocate with your kids after your divorce?

Like many people going through divorce proceedings in California, you may have difficulty looking beyond the official end of your marriage. Yet once that comes, you quickly realize that you still have several years (likely even decades) of life left ahead of you. Those years will likely present several new opportunities.

One such opportunity may be the chance to move away from the state (either to pursue new career opportunities or to be closer to immediate family). Yet if you share children with your ex-spouse, a relocation could present complications.

Moving away with your kids

The good news is that the state does not actively look to bar you from pursuing such an opportunity. Indeed, according to the Judicial Branch of California, if you have sole physical custody of your kids, you can move away with them. The only exception to this would be if your ex-spouse could prove that a move might harm the children. The important point to remember in this scenario, however, is that the burden of proof falls to them to show why the move might cause harm.

That is not the case when you share joint custody. In that scenario, you would need to show taking the kids with you would be in their best interests.

Working with your ex-spouse before relocating

Even in cases where your ex-spouse opposes your potential move, the court may not attempt to bar you from leaving. What it may do, however, is dramatically alter your custody arrangement to accommodate your ex-spouse. You can maintain control over any potential modifications, however, by working with your ex-spouse well in advance of your move to come with an agreement agreeable to you both. The court will often reward such collaboration by adopting your recommendations.


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