Relocating can present new opportunities, further your career, and bring you closer to loved ones and family members. However, moving away from your current location isn’t nearly as easy when you share a child with your ex. Co-parenting is rarely easy, even in the best of circumstances, and handling a potential relocation can certainly stir up some angry, contentious feelings.
If your ex is interested in relocating and he or she wants to take your child with them, you do have a right, as a parent, to object. In order to protect your parental rights in a move-away case, make sure you know your options.
Consider Your Custody Arrangement
Depending on your custody arrangement, your ex might not be able to move your child away without taking the issue to court. If, for example, you have primary custody of your child, the other parent cannot take your child away without petitioning for custody through the court. Even if your ex does have custody, you have a right to receive a written notification of the potential move. The courts understand that parents want to be able to see their children for visits, even if they don’t have custody, so the relocating parent must be mindful of the potential effect on the other parent. If the two of you share joint custody, and neither can agree about who will care for your child after the move, you will need to handle the issue through mediation or in court.
Did Your Ex Follow Proper Protocol?
As previously discussed, the relocating parent must follow the proper protocol before they move away with the child, otherwise, their relocation could be considered kidnapping. In California, any relocating parent, even a custodial parent, must provide the other parent with written notice of the intended move at least 30 days prior. If the other parent objects to the move, they have a right to file an official objection, at which point the issue would go to court.
What Factors Will the Court Consider?
In court, the judge will hear both sides of the issue and determine whether or not the child should be permitted to leave with the relocating parent, or if the child should stay with their other parent. In order to accommodate these potential changes, the courts will most likely consider making a change to the existing custody arrangement. When determining what to do, the court will look at the best interests of the child, first and foremost.
In any move-away case, the judge will determine which option is in the best interest of the child by considering the following factors:
- The cultural or educational opportunities at the potential new location
- The reason for the parent’s move
- The child’s current ties to their community, including family members, school, friends, and community activities
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s preferences, if he or she is deemed mature enough to chime in
- Each parent’s ability to co-parent effectively
Let Our Firm Help
Dealing with move-away cases can be both stressful and legally complex, which is why it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney. Our firm has worked on ample move-away cases and we are familiar with the specific California laws that govern these types of legal disputes. Whether you are relocating or your child’s other parent is, our firm can represent your interests and protect your rights as a parent.
Contact Gille Kaye Law Group, PC to discuss your case with our firm today.