Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I will give the best answer that I can with the information provided.
Under CA residency guidelines, there are many factors to consider when determining if an individual is or is not a CA resident. However, there is a "safe harbor" rule, even when the spouse remains a CA resident:
"The safe harbor provides that an individual domiciled in California who is outside California under an employment-related contract for an uninterrupted period of at least 546 consecutive days will be considered a nonresident unless any of the following is met: • The individual has intangible income exceeding $200,000 in any taxable year during which the employment related contract is in effect • The principal purpose of the absence from California is to avoid personal income tax .
Return visits to California that do not exceed a total of 45 days during any taxable year covered by the employment contract are considered temporary"
It appears that your plans to work and live in the east and to only visit CA for 9 days per year would allow you to claim safe harbor status. Of course the year that you move out of and move back into CA you would be considered a part year resident.
Your spouse will still be a full year CA resident, so you will need to follow specific rules for reporting income to the federal gov and CA (also depending upon whether you file jointly or separately) since CA is a community property state.
The following publication covers all of this information regarding CA rules:
Regarding the new state of residence, that is a bit more complicated, since you may possibly live in one state and work in another. However, DC has a withholding exemption form, because MD and VA have "reciprocal agreements" with DC. This means that you are only taxed on income received in DC by your state of residence, so you can avoid filing two separate tax returns for DC and your home state.
DC's tax rate is up to 8.5% for over 40K taxable income, so avoid living there if you can.
MD tax rates vary from 2% to 6.25% and VA varies from 2% to 5.75%. MD and VA have similar tax structures so you may want to consider living in the state or city that has the lowest housing cost.
Here is a link to state tax rates:
Please let me know if you need more information.