Relocation and Move-Away Orders

Parents who share custody of their children may want to move away for a number of reasons. In some cases, a parent may want to live closer to other family members for help with childcare. In others, he or she may have a job opportunity that could provide more income or increased opportunities for advancement. Whatever the reason, if a parent shares custody of his or her children with someone else, a move may have to be approved by the court.

How are Move Away Cases Decided?

If both parents can agree on a visitation and custody arrangement after a move, there is no reason that the court must be involved at all. If either parent wants to block the move, however, things become significantly more complicated. If one parent has sole custody of the child, the other parent may only prevent the move from taking place if he or she can show that the move would harm the child. In cases where parents share custody, however, the parent who wishes to move must be able to establish that the move will be in the best interest of the child.

Some of the factors that a court may consider in a child relocation case include the following:

  • How far away the child’s proposed new residence would be from the other parent
  • The child’s age
  • The child’s preference, if he or she is old enough to express a meaningful opinion
  • The reasons for the move
  • The child’s relationship with his or her parents

Under California law, parents are required to mediate the issue prior to going to court. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the court will hear the case and may establish a new child custody order. Because courts have significant discretion in move away cases, it is important for anyone involved in a child relocation dispute to retain qualified legal counsel immediately.


Ready To Talk With An Attorney?

Contact our office to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to learn more about the options available and if an annulment is the best option for you. Initial consultations are completely free and will leave you better informed and prepared for whatever you decide to do.