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Legal Information: General

Parental Kidnapping

Updated: 
August 18, 2021

If there is an ongoing court action involving my children, can I take them out of the state?

If there is some type of court action involving the children, such as divorce, custody, or visitation that is in process, then it may be illegal for you to take the children out of state, even temporarily, without permission from the judge and/or consent of the other parent. Often when one parent files for custody, the court automatically enters orders prohibiting either parent from removing the child from the state. If you have a current court action of this sort, then you may want to ask the judge or your attorney if you can take the children out of the state.

Also, keep in mind that once a court action is started in one state, then that state court generally has jurisdiction (power) over the case until it is finished. If your case is finished and you want to try to change a final custody order in a different state, go to our Changing a final custody order page for more information.