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When am I allowed to take my kids out of state?

Although Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California have plenty of wonderful things to see and do, the reality is that many residents from time to time want or even need to travel to another state or even out of the country.

Doing so can present special challenges to parents who are raising their children while trying to co-parent with a former spouse or significant other. After all, one parent's taking the children out of state, and, especially, to another country, can cause the other parent serious concern, and not without good reason.

Still, California does not have a blanket rule for when parents can and cannot take their children out of this state or even out of this country on a temporary basis.

Whether parents have leave to travel out-of-state without having to get the other parent's consent or a special court order depends heavily on what the parenting plan says. Parents who see this as an issue should therefore make sure their parenting plans clearly and thoroughly address it with the help of their family law attorneys.

If the parenting plan in force prohibits or restricts out of state travel, then the parent wanting to go out of California with the children will need to follow the order or get it legally changed prior to travelling.

If the order is silent, parents could well be free to do as they wish so long as they otherwise follow their orders. However, parents do need to be particularly careful should their travel plans interfere with the other parent's time with the children or involve leaving the country. In many cases, it is best to be sure one has explicit permission to undertake travel in these circumstances.

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