After a divorce, many parents are able to cooperatively agree on mutually beneficial co-parenting relationships that allow each parent to spend quality time with their child. They may split weeks or weekends, or share time during holidays, in order to allow each parent to develop a strong and ongoing relationship even after divorce.
Sometimes, however, one parent may need to move away from the place where they used to live, and where their former partner and kids currently reside. And when that happens, they may want to take their children with them, giving them the opportunity to travel to new places, benefit from a better job environment, or just get a fresh start. While a parent who is seeking to leave may have admirable goals for their new home, attempting to move their children with them can create discord and conflict.
Moving After Divorce in Rancho Cucamonga
In this day and age, plenty of individuals find that they have to move for new and better job opportunities. After a divorce, parents are free to move as much as they may need to. What they are not free to do, however, is take their kids with them without the permission of the courts.
After a divorce involving children, a judge will create a custody order that governs where children should live, which parents they should live with, and what is in their best interest. While parents can make minor moves, such as to a new house or a different neighborhood, as long as they don’t interfere with the child’s rights or best interests, parents cannot unilaterally move their kids in a way that substantially changes custody arrangements.
Instead, if a parent wants to make a substantial move with a child, he or she must give the other parent at least 45 days of notice before the move. If the parents cannot work out an arrangement in light of the move, the nonmoving parent can file an objection to the move with the court and request a modification to the existing custody order (such as requiring the child to remain in the state). The court will typically then schedule a relocation hearing to address the proposed move.
What Happens At A Relocation Hearing?
At a relocation hearing, the court will hear evidence from the moving and nonmoving parent about whether the proposed move is in the best interest of the child. Judges are typically reluctant to make substantial changes to custody based on a proposed move, but if the nonmoving parent can show that the move would be detrimental to the child, they may be willing to do so.
At the relocation hearing, the judge will consider factors such as:
Whether the child has a special need for stability
What the child’s relationship is with each parent
How far the move is
The reason for the move
The community and support in the location of the proposed move
Based on these factors, the court will decide whether to allow the child to continue to live with the parent who is moving as previously allowed, or whether to make custody modifications.
California Attorneys Managing Proposed Moves With You
If you are a parent who is hoping to move and would like your child to come with you, or a parent who opposes a proposed move by a co-parent, you may need the assistance of an attorney to fight for your rights at a relocation hearing. At CKB Vienna LLP, our family law attorneys can help you petition to protect your custody and visitation rights in front of a judge. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, contact us online or at 909-980-1040.