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Legal Information: Alabama


Laws current as of September 1, 2023

If there is a custody order in place, can I take my kids out of state?

For temporary trips out of state, you might not have a problem if taking the child out of state does not interfere with the other parent’s custody or visitation rights or if the other parent gives written permission. If it is safe for you to do so, it might be a good idea to let the other parent know your plans and the date you expect to return if you are leaving the state briefly so that the parent does not think that you have left the state to relocate with the child. Technically, under the law, you would not be considered to have “relocated” with the child unless you live somewhere else for more than 45 days; although it may not be considered a relocation if the trip is temporary in nature and doesn’t change the child’s principal residence or if the absence is caused by the need to escape domestic violence.1 To read more about relocation, go to What do I have to do to relocate my child?

Note: The laws concerning moving and taking a child out of state are very complicated and, as with all custody issues, we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about this first before you leave the state. To find a lawyer or legal aid program in your area, please visit the AL Finding a Lawyer page.

1 Alabama Code § 30-3-161(11)