Divorce can happen for many reasons in California and having children makes custody one of the central concerns in the dissolution. Even after all the paperwork is filed and the divorce is final, custody can rear its head for as long as your children are growing up. This should not be something that bars you from your passions or dreams but it is something that needs to be considered when making big choices like moving out of state and especially out of the country.

It all comes down to permissions and proofs. As the California Judicial Branch’s website explains, it depends on whether your custody is sole or joint. Sole custody allows you greater freedoms when moving you and your children, as it falls on the other parent to appeal against it with some way of showing that the move would be harmful for the children’s well-being. In a joint custody situation, the burden flips and the parent doing the moving has to show that the move is in the children’s best interest.

USA law has homogenized statutes under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to make interstate moves and custody questions easier to work through, but international laws get into muddier waters. A sovereign nation is under no authority to honor a US custody agreement. It is not advised to embark to a new country without the proper paperwork and legal counsel–secured from either the parent remaining in California or a court judge that can make a custody ruling. For more in-depth information on this topic, we invite you to explore our website.