It is not uncommon for one parent to try to relocate or move away after a divorce case in California. If that parent has joint or primary custody of a child, however, this is a complicated family law matter that often requires guidance from an experienced attorney. Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., has skilled Mountain View parental relocation lawyers who can help you with this legal issue, whether you are a parent wishing to move away or trying to prevent your ex-spouse from relocating.
When Can a Custodial Parent Relocate or Move Away in California?
California Family Code Section 7501 states that a custodial parent’s ability to change the residence of a child is subject to the power of the court. This law gives the court jurisdiction to prevent removal or relocation that would “prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.” A custodial parent in California can only change a child’s residence with permission from the court or approval from the other parent.
If a parent wishes to move, he or she must notify the other parent in writing within 45 days of the proposed move-away date. The notice must contain the exact address where the parent wishes to move, the desired date for the move and the reason. If the noncustodial parent agrees to the move, the custodial parent can move without needing to go to court. Note, however, that if the move will alter a child custody agreement, the courts will require an updated custody or visitation arrangement.
Best Interests and Detriment of the Child
If the noncustodial parent does not agree to the move, he or she can contest the relocation in court. The noncustodial parent will have the chance to give his or her reasons against the move, such as that it will interfere with custody or visitation rights. A judge will listen to both sides of the case and make a determination based on the best interests and detriment of the child. This is a broad legal scope that can involve factors such as:
- Whether the move is necessary or for pleasure
- The distance of the proposed move
- The child’s age and relationship with both parents
- The child’s connection to his or her community, school and friends
- The child’s connection to other relatives living in the area
- The child’s physical, medical and emotional requirements
- Whether the parents can communicate and work together
- The child’s opinion and wishes, if old enough
A judge will carefully examine these factors, among others, and take an in-depth look into the child’s life. If the judge believes that the move will negatively affect the child’s wellbeing, or that the parent does not have a good enough reason to move, the judge may deny the request. Otherwise, the judge may sign off on the relocation.
How Can a Mountain View Parental Relocation Lawyer Help?
Working with a Mountain View parental relocation lawyer can make an enormous difference to the outcome of your case. If you wish to stop your ex-spouse from changing your child’s residence, for example, a lawyer can present compelling evidence to demonstrate how the move would negatively impact the child’s wellbeing or best interests, or else hurt your relationship with the child.
If you are a parent who wishes to relocate with a child, a Mountain View family law lawyer can help you take the proper steps to do so legally, as well as argue your case at trial, if necessary. Either way, a lawyer can identify your goals for your case, answer your questions, represent you during legal processes and protect your family’s best interests every step of the way.
We Can Protect Your Parental Rights in a Relocation Case
Debra R. Schoenberg is a Certified Family Law Specialist in Mountain View, California. She has been certified as a specialist by the California Bar Association after receiving special education, experience and training in the family law practice area. Our dedicated legal team at Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., has everything that you need to build a strong case for or against parental relocation.
To find out how we can help, contact our Mountain View parental relocation lawyers to request a consultation. Call (415) 969-2981 or send us a message online.