What are the laws regarding relocation with kids during a San Diego divorce? Is it legal for one of the parents to take the children and move out of the area or out of state during a divorce?
The specific circumstances of each case are unique and different. For the sake of the questions above let us assume that both parents now reside with the children in the San Diego area. They may continue to share the same home, or one of the parents may have moved out. This isn’t the issue at hand. The questions above regard the relocation of children which is inherently a child custody issue.
There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is associated with the ability to make important decisions regarding the child’s life. Physical custody (which includes parenting time) is associated with the right to have a child live with you.
Usually, at the outset of the divorce the Judge will issue temporary orders which include child custody and parenting time if the couple has children. Once any form of custody orders are in place it is not legal for one parent to decide upon relocation with kids during a San Diego divorce without written approval from the other parent and the Court itself.
The wording of the Judges orders is usually quite specific and often limits both parents from taking the child(ren) out of state (even for a vacation) without written permission from the other parent as well as authorization from the Court. Practically speaking if it is genuinely for a vacation (especially one that has been planned for a while) the Court will not usually withhold permission unless it is concerned of a flight risk (non-return of the children).
Any parent with sole custody usually has the right to change the child’s residential home. If the temporary orders issued in your case provided one of the former spouses with sole legal and physical custody then relocation with kids during a San Diego divorce would be legally possible.
These are complex questions and it is always important to seek the advice of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.
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