If there is a final custody order in place, can I move with my children?
If you have custody and are planning to move to a different home, read your custody order carefully first. A judge can write into the custody order that the parent with whom the child lives has to notify the other parent if s/he plans to change the residence of the child for more than 30 days. The notice should be sent to the other parent by mail, return receipt requested, within a minimum of 45 days before the proposed move. This allows the other parent enough time to object and to bring the case back to court if necessary. A copy of the notice also has to be sent to that parent’s attorney in the custody case, if s/he had one.1 To find out more about the procedures to notify the other parent, please contact the court where the custody order was issued.
Note: Whenever a parent files for custody or files to modify an existing custody order, there will be an automatic restraining order in place prohibiting the parent who has custody from taking the children out of California until a judge comes up with a final judgment.2 Until the judge makes that final custody order, you would have to ask the judge for permission to take trips with the children out of state.
1 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 3024
2 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 3063