Relocating to a new state or new country can be difficult. But that process can be made even more difficult when it means moving away with a child you share with your ex-spouse or partner.
Are You Allowed to Move Away?
The first thing you need to identify is if you are able to move away and relocate your child. A standard rule of thumb when it comes to child relocation and a permanent child custody and visitation order is that neither parent is able to relocate the child unless he or she has received consent (written consent) from the other parent or a court.
Allowing a Move Away
Family law courts consider a number of factors when considering allowing a move away. As always, the court takes the “best interest of the child” into account. These are the other factors a court considers:
- Is the child stable in the current child custody arrangement
- Where is the new location? How far away is it from the remaining parent’s household?
- Financial impact (for both parents)
- Age of the child
- How is the current relationship between the parents and the child?
- How is the co-parenting relationship between both parents?
- What are the child’s wishes (dependent on the child’s age)?
- Are there special accommodations needed for the child? Are they available in the new location?
- What’s the reason for the move?
- Additional factors the court deems fit to consider
To Note: California Family Code section 7501
Under the California Family Code section 7501, “a parent entitled to custody of a child has a right to change the residence of the child, subject to the power of the court to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.” Therefore, the custodial parent of a child does not have to prove that the move away is necessary, since they have been awarded the legal right to have the child live with them.
Modification of Court Orders
A move away request is considered a modification of court orders. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of the current custody and visitation rights you have prior to the move away. You will need to get the other parent’s written agreement as well as the court’s permission in order to proceed with your move away. You might want to consider working with a move away attorney to help that your move away is legally done and you don’t risk jeopardizing your current agreement.
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