So you are a parent that wishes to relocate to another state or country and your question is, “ Can I move away from California with my child ? ” It is a good question that is asked frequently. The quick answer is, “it depends”.
What the custodial parent needs to understand is that this decision will negatively affect the other parent’s bond with their child. But most importantly, one needs to stop and asked themselves, “is this move away in the best interest of our child?”
If the other parent decides to contest the move away then the court will need to decide if such a move is in the best interest of the child. The judge may evaluate the following reasons the relocation.
• What is the current situation with the parents and child.
• What are the reasons for wanting to relocate.
• What are the reasons for contesting the move away.
• What will be the economical, emotional and educational effects on the child.
• The non-custodial parent’s impact of no longer seeing their child.
• What parenting plans have the parents worked out.
In my experience as a family law lawyer, I have witnessed both ends of the spectrum. On one side the parents were able to workout a respectful move away only after a few reasonable compromises such as an implementation of a detailed parenting plan that left no room for error. However, on the other hand I represented clients that were never notified of the move ways but only heard of the move months later. At which the courts ordered the custodial parent back to Orange County, California for a hearing, which ended up being a costly case for both sides..
In conclusion, the judge will weigh all factors and determine what is in the best interest of the child. Therefore, if you are planning to relocate, I strongly recommend you first contact an experienced Orange County child custody lawyer and explain your situation and understand your legal options before you decide to relocate.