Is it legal to take children across state lines and if so what are the chances for any custody once the child has left

Asked over 4 years ago - Sacramento, CA

My son and his wife are separating and her idea is to go back home in another state. My son has offered to give her the house to use and he move out in order to keep the children here so he can see them. What are his legal rights in preventing her from taking the children

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Donald Andrew Hansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Your daughter-in-law doesn't have a very good idea Certainly, she can remove the kids from CA, but if she files for divorce and custody in another state, CA and international conventions on child abduction will kick in. The "UCCJEA" (an international agreement for the protection of children) which CA has adopted will require that custody be determined in the in the state where the children have resided for the past 6 months.

    If your son is in favor of divorce, he could file for dissolution in Sacramento Courts, to have the custody and all other issues settled here. If she files in her new domicile state, there could be a jurisdiction battle, which would likely be resolved by returning the case to CA, but at an appreciable legal expense).

    A person in the position you say your son is in would be wise to consult a competent attorney.

    Disclaimer: This information about California law and procedures is based on the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. It is not offered as advice to that person or any other reader and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Donald Andrew Hansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Your daughter-in-law doesn't have a very good idea Certainly, she can remove the kids from CA, but if she files for divorce and custody in another state, CA and international conventions on child abduction will kick in. The "UCCJEA" (an international agreement for the protection of children) which CA has adopted will require that custody be determined in the in the state where the children have resided for the past 6 months.

    If your son is in favor of divorce, he could file for dissolution in Sacramento Courts, to have the custody and all other issues settled here. If she files in her new domicile state, there could be a jurisdiction battle, which would likely be resolved by returning the case to CA, but at an appreciable legal expense).

    A person in the position you say your son is in would be wise to consult a competent attorney.

    Disclaimer: This information about California law and procedures is based on the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. It is not offered as advice to that person or any other reader and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  3. Richard Forrest Gould-Saltman

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . As soon as someone files a California dissolution, or any other legal case in California regarding custody of children, an automatic restraining order goes into effect preventing the removal of the children from the state. Even if she leaves the state BEFORE he files, aas long as she hasn't lived in new state at least six months before he files and serves, California will take child custody jurisdiction.

    He needs to see an experienced family law attorney NOW and figure out what he should and shouldn't do, and when.

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