Life can change substantially after a divorce. You might need to get a new job, find affordable housing, or relocate to an entirely new area. If you have children, however, this can potentially create some complications, especially if the distance will render your current child custody order impractical. The custodial parent has the right to freely change residences with the children only if the arrangement will not interfere with the other parent’s relationship with them and proper court orders are in place in connection with any move away from the Jurisdiction under which the court has power to exercise over the minor child.
Relocating with Your Children: What You Need to Know
A custodial parent with primary physical custody, has the right to relocate with the children under California Family Code Section 7501. That said, you will still need either an agreement with your co-parent or a court order if you wish to relocate and change the residence of your children.
Additionally, if you are planning on moving away with your children, you must provide your co-parent with a written notice at least 45 days before the move. Giving your co-parent advanced notice will allow some time for you to work out a new child custody or visitation arrangement. Your co-parent might also file an objection to the proposed move and request a modification to the custody agreement.
Generally, in a move-away case, a change in custody will only be granted if the move does not negatively affect the children and serve their best interest and not necessarily the parents. As such, the court will consider number of factors in making such determination to protect the children’s best interests.
In the case of In re Marriage of La Musga (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1072, the mother wished to move away with the children two years after the child custody order was made. However, the father believed this was an attempt to alienate him from the children. Ultimately, the court decided that the mother’s interest in moving was somewhat motivated by a desire to weaken the bond between father and children and ruled that, if she were to move, the father would secure primary physical custody of the children.
With this case, the California Supreme Court upheld the family law court’s decision that allowing the move would disrupt the children’s relationship with their father, which would not be in their best interests.
Below are some of the factors a judge will examine in a move-away case:
- The children’s need for stability and consistency
- The custodial parent’s reason for the move
- Harm that might result from the modification of the custody arrangement
- The children’s relationship with both parents
- The children’s relationships with extended family members and the community in both locations
- The parents’ relationship with one another and their willingness to communicate and cooperate
- The physical, emotional, and educational needs of the children and how they might be affected by the move
- Any other factors that might impact the best interests of the children
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and no cases are alike, so a variety of other factors might be considered when examining your particular case. To ensure the best possible outcome, hire a child custody attorney as soon as possible.
Schedule a Consultation with a Knowledgeable Child Custody Attorney Today!
After a divorce, it is expected that your life might continue to endure many more changes. You might move away to pursue a new job or to be closer to your family. Regardless of your reasons, if you have children, you will need a child custody attorney on your side to ensure to guide you through the process.
At Akbarian Law Group, APLC, Ms. Akbarian with more than two decades of experience can provide exceptional legal advice and representation with her team that you will need to continue to move forward in life while protecting your rights as a parent. You can rely on Ms. Akbarian to help you resolve even the most trying family law matters through her, knowledge, strategy and guidance.
Get started on your relocation case today and contact our law office at (818) 247-9322 to set up an initial consultation with our trusted child custody attorney.