Divorce and separation is a time for new beginnings. Some of these beginnings may include moving to a new place. If you have children, full or joint custody, and are hoping to have the children move with you, then you need to request a move-away order from the court.
Before filing this request with the court, there are some things to consider, including the circumstances the judge will be reviewing and using to decide your case. Judges in California use the "best interest of the the child" rule when deciding any custody related matters. Just because relocation may be in your best interests doesn't mean that it's in your child's. Here are some of the factors a judge will take into consideration in a move away case:
Relationship/Custody with Each Parent
Assuming both parents have good relationships with their child(ren) and can adequately provide for their children's needs, the court generally doesn't like to separate one or the other parent from the children. Each parent's relationship with their child as well as the current custody schedule will be a strong consideration for the judge. If the parents currently have joint physical custody and the parent who is not moving doesn't agree to the move-away, it can be a tough hurdle to surpass.
Distance of Move
All of the factors listed in today's blog are important, but if the current custody schedule is to be maintained (or as close to it as possible) then distance is an important consideration point. If the move is just to another city or county within California, the move and joint custody schedule is possible. A move to a different state adds more complexity to the matter and it's best to consult with an experienced attorney to make sure you are well represented.
The party requesting the move will need to prove that the new location is in the best interests of the child. A better job for the parent, more affordable areas to live, better schools or a stronger network of support could all be good reasons for a move-away order to be granted.
Age of the Child
Depending on the child's age and maturity, the court may consider the child's opinion and with whom or where the child would like to live. The child's current educations situation, extra curricular activities, friends and support system are all considered.
As with most divorce and family law matters, the qualified attorneys at Richard Ross Associates are here to help you and make this as easy of a process as possible. If you have any questions, please contact us today.