Move Away and Child Relocation: California Child Custody Laws
Orange County Family Law Attorneys Answer Child Custody Questions
If you plan to move with your child after getting a divorce, you need to know what California child custody laws say about what you can and cannot do. Even if you think you are acting within the bounds of the law and your custody agreement, it is a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney to make sure you are not committing a serious violation.
Our Orange County Family Law Associates opened our family law firm to help people who are wondering about divorce but are not sure where to turn. There is no fee to meet with a child custody lawyer at our office and ask any questions you have about moving to another place with your child.
What Are the California Child Relocation Laws?
If you are thinking about moving after a divorce in California, your ability to move with your child depends on what kind of custody agreement you have worked out with the other parent.
Most custody arrangements state that the parents must reside the same area in order to allow the non-custodial parent to exercise his or her visitation rights. If you are the custodial parent and wish to move, you must prove that there is a significant change in circumstances that requires you to adjust the custody agreement. If the move disturbs the agreement or makes it impossible to fulfill, then the couple must come up with a new plan.
Please note that there is no law that says that divorced parents need to be in the same city, county or within any set number of miles of each other; the only notable factor is whether or not the move would affect the terms of the custody agreement. In other words, there may be some way for you and your former spouse to uphold the custody agreement even if you move out of the area.
How Do I Relocate a Child During a Divorce?
If you wish to move away with the child, you must file a motion to do so. If you wish to challenge the other parent’s plan to move, you can submit a motion to object to the move or change the custody arrangements. Once the motion is filed, parents must attend a divorce mediation session. If this session does not produce a favorable result, then the issue goes in front of a judge. Both parents will argue their cases, and in some instances, an older child’s wishes may be taken into consideration.
Before making a decision, the judge will consider a number of factors, including:
- Whether you have sole or joint custody
- The relationship between the child and both parents, as well as between the parents
- The distance of the move
- The reasons for the move
In California, often the most important factor that the judge considers is your reasons for wanting to move. You only have to prove that it is in your child’s best interest to move with you, which is usually the case if you are the custodial parent. However, if you do not have a good reason for wanting to move, the judge may not rule in your favor. For example, if one parent only wants to relocate to keep the child from his or her other parent, it is unlikely that the courts will allow the move.
Contact Orange County Attorneys for Child Relocation in California
Each family is different, and there is no way to guess how a proceeding might go without sitting down with you, getting to know you and figuring out the best solution for you and your child’s happiness and stability. That is why our Orange County Family Law Associates offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients. We can review your situation, let you know your options and give you free legal advice before you start relocation proceedings.
Contact us online or call our local office to set up a free case review with one of our experienced family law attorneys.