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Move Away

Los Angeles Move Away & Parental Relocation Attorney

What Relocation Factors Will the Court Consider in California?

Parental relocation, often referred to as "move away", is an important issue to address in regard to divorce and child custody arrangements. If the parents share custody or one parent has visitation rights, the parent with primary custody cannot move with the child without first obtaining permission from the court. The family court must ensure that the child's relationship with their other parent is protected, and that the other parent's rights are not violated.

Common Reasons Why Parents Want to Move Away

Parental relocation can occur due to various reasons. Here are some common reasons why parents might relocate:

  • Career Opportunities: One of the most common reasons for parental relocation is for career advancement or job opportunities. A parent may need to move to another city or state for a better job or to pursue career goals.
  • Education: Parents may relocate to provide better educational opportunities for their children. This could involve moving to a district with better schools, enrolling the child in a specialized program, or moving closer to a university for higher education opportunities.
  • Family Reasons: Family ties can also prompt relocation. This might include moving closer to extended family members for support or to help care for aging parents or other relatives.
  • Relationship Changes: Changes in marital or relationship status, such as divorce or separation, can lead to parental relocation. This could involve one parent moving to a different area following a divorce or separation agreement.
  • Quality of Life: Parents may choose to relocate to improve their overall quality of life. This might involve moving to a safer neighborhood, a more affordable area, or a location with better recreational or cultural opportunities.
  • Healthcare: Access to specialized medical care or treatment facilities can be a driving factor in parental relocation, especially if a child has special medical needs or if a parent requires medical care themselves.
  • Military Service: Families with a parent serving in the military may relocate due to deployments, transfers, or reassignments to different bases.
  • Climate and Environment: Some parents may choose to relocate to areas with a more desirable climate or natural environment, such as moving from a crowded urban area to a quieter suburban or rural setting.
  • Legal Requirements: In cases involving custody arrangements, court orders, or child welfare services, parents may be required to relocate for compliance with legal obligations or to fulfill custody agreements.

How to Relocate with Your Child

If a parent with primary custody plans to move, they are typically required to provide written notice to the other parent. The notice should include information about the proposed move, such as the new address, the reason for the move, and a proposed revised custody and visitation plan.

Ideally, both parents can reach an agreement regarding the relocation and any necessary adjustments to the custody or visitation schedule. If both parents agree to the relocation and the proposed changes, they can submit a written agreement to the court for approval.

If the parents cannot reach an agreement on their own, they may be required to attend mediation to attempt to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral third party, such as a mediator. The mediator can assist the parents in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding the relocation and any changes to custody or visitation.

If mediation is unsuccessful or if one parent opposes the relocation, the relocating parent may need to file a petition with the court seeking permission to move. The petition should include information about the proposed move, the reasons for the move, and any proposed changes to the custody or visitation arrangement.

The court will schedule a hearing to consider the petition for relocation. Both parents will have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence to the court. The court will consider factors such as the child's best interests, the reason for the move, the impact on the child's relationship with the non-relocating parent, and any history of domestic violence or abuse.

The court will consider such factors as:

  • The age of the child
  • The reason for the move
  • The distance of the move
  • The parents' existing custody arrangement
  • The way the move will affect the child socially
  • The child's wishes, depending upon his or her age
  • The way the move will affect the child psychologically
  • The impact the move will have upon the child's education
  • The impact the move will have on the child's relationship with the noncustodial parent

After considering the evidence and arguments presented, the court will make a decision regarding the relocation. The court may approve the relocation if it determines that it is in the child's best interests. Alternatively, the court may deny the relocation or impose certain conditions or restrictions on the move.

If the court approves the relocation, it may also modify the existing custody order to reflect the new circumstances. This may involve adjusting the custody and visitation schedule to accommodate the relocation and ensure that both parents continue to have meaningful relationships with the child.

Contact Claery & Hammond, LLP to get started on your free consultation.

Parental Relocation Attorney in Los Angeles

Claery & Hammond, LLP can address all of your questions and concerns related to move away cases. Our divorce attorneys are experienced in handling post-judgment modifications of custody and visitation agreements in order to address parental relocation. We assist parents who wish to move as well as parents whose custodial rights would be violated if their former partner relocated with their children.

The outcome of a parental relocation case will have a serious impact on you and your child, so it's important that you have strong legal advocacy on your side. Our firm handles all types of family law cases throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Contact Claery & Hammond, LLP at (310) 817-6904 or take a few moments to fill out a free case evaluation form if you would like to learn more about child relocation laws in Southern California.

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