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Legal Information: General

Parental Kidnapping

Laws current as of June 24, 2024

If there is an ongoing court action involving my children, can I take them out of the state?

If there is some type of court action in process involving the children, such as divorce, custody, or visitation, then it may be illegal for you to take the children out of state, even temporarily, without permission from the judge. It’s common that the court automatically enters orders prohibiting either parent from removing the child from the state, known as the “jurisdiction.” If you have a current court action of this sort, then you may want to ask the judge or your attorney if you can take the children out of the state.

Also, keep in mind that once a court action is started in one state, then that state court generally has power (jurisdiction) over the case until it is finished. If your case is finished and you want to try to change a final custody order in a different state, go to our Changing a final custody order page for more information.