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Do I need permission to take my kid out of California?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Child Custody |

When travel plans come up, you may wonder if you need the other parent’s permission to take your child with you. The answer is usually yes.

Married and living with your spouse

If you are married and living with your spouse (the other parent), then you do not need permission to leave Riverside or the state with your child for short trips, like vacations or visits with your relatives. However, this does not mean that you can unilaterally relocate the child to another state. That type of unilateral and permanent change of residence would violate California Family Code, Section 7501.

The court is involved

If the court has become involved in the relationship, then there is likely a custody order in place. If that is the case, you must follow that custody order. The custody order will specify where the child can go, and if you are allowed to leave the state with them. If you are allowed to leave the state, there is usually a notice and possibly a consent requirement as well. There may even be a written consent requirement, but even if not, you should get some kind of proof that the other spouse consented.

If that court order does not reference traveling out of state, make sure that you get the other parent’s permission to travel out of state. If they do not agree, then you will likely need to get the court involved to get permission to travel or relocate your child.

The courts are not involved yet

If the courts have not been involved in your relationship yet, then you likely do not have a court order yet. In this case, generally, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities, according to California Family Code, Section 3010. This means that neither parent can take the child out of the state without the other’s consent, unless there is some emergency. You will need to get the other parent’s consent (preferably in writing) or ask the court for permission prior to travel.


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