Move-away dispute and relocation cases often prove to be the most difficult conflicts parents face in a custodial battle. Problems are bound to come up when the parent who has custodial rights decides to move with their child to another location that will interfere with the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. The same applies when a parent who shares joint custody decides to move away with their child.
Whether you are the parent who is planning to make the move or not, it is best to first check with an experienced Central Valley custody rights attorney to make sure every step is taking within the bounds of the law to avoid any legal issues.
Basic “Relocation” Rule
The basic “relocation” rule is as follows: when the parent of a minor child makes the decision to move to a location where the distance would significantly impede the non-locating parent’s ability to exercise custodial time with their child, that parent must first get the approval of the other parent or any other parent who has custodial rights to a child. The moving parent may also need to seek permission of the court to relocate the child.
More specifically, under California law, a parent must provide written notice of any plan to move away with the child for more than 30 days.
Factors Courts Will Consider in Move-Away Requests
If you share joint custody and want to move more than 50 miles away or to another state, you need to approach the court de novo with your relocation request. This means the California family court will need to consider your custody arrangement anew based on the circumstances of your move and the best interests of your child. Below are some factors the court generally consider when deciding a move-away case:
- How far you’re moving away and the reasons you’re moving
- The age of your children and their relationship with each of their parents
- Your children’s interest in continuity and stability in their home life
- You and your co-parent’s ability to cooperate and communicate effectively
- How custody is currently split between the parents
- What the children prefer if they’re old enough to decide
- If the move will present a detriment or benefit to your children
- Whether the move is ultimately in your children’s best interests
Call an Experienced Central Valley Child Custody Attorney
If you are involved in a child custody battle or simply have questions regarding child custody, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Stockton child custody attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.