Your divorce in California certainly brings with it a certain sense of finality. Yet life does go on, and that will likely include you encountering a number of new opportunities. One of these may include moving away from the state to live closer to family, seek new career opportunities or pursue another romantic relationship.  

Relocating after your divorce, however, becomes more complicated when you want to take your kids with you. Your move will no doubt impact your ex-spouse’s ability to maintain a consistent presence in your children’s lives. That potential prompts the question of whether or not state law even allows it.  

Reviewing your custody rights

According to the website for the Judicial Branch of California, the answer to that question depends on your custodial rights. If you have sole physical custody kids of your kids, state courts place no barriers to your ability to move away with them. Indeed, the only complication that may arise in such a scenario would be if your ex-spouse claims the move would harm the kids (in which case the burden of proof falls to them to support that claim).  

However, if you share custody of your kids with your ex-spouse, then the opposite occurs. You must show the court that permitting you to relocate with the kids would be in their best interests.  

Working with your ex-spouse in advance of a move

That is, of course, is your ex-spouse objects to your relocation. You may be able to avoid any court hearings by involving your ex-spouse in your plans to move. That includes working out a revised custody agreement that allows them continued access to the kids without placing an undue burden on them. If the two of you can come up with such an agreement on your own, the court will often honor (and adopt) your proposals.