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If you are a divorced parent with custody and would like to move to a new location, whether it’s for work or any other purpose, there are some things you will need to consider regarding the other parent’s rights and your child’s best interests.
First, check your Judgment to see if there are any restrictions on either parent’s ability to move the child outside a particular county or counties as restrictions are common in custody orders.
In some cases, the custodial parent must provide the noncustodial parent with advance, written notice of his or her intent change the child’s residence to give that parent a chance to object with the court.
Once the court receives the objection, it will schedule a hearing to address the issue.
The court’s decision
The court will consider the following factors when deciding if the move is in the child’s best interest:
- The quality of life, opportunities and other resources available to the child and parent in each location
- How much either moving or staying will impact the development (physically, educationally and emotionally) of the child and his or her relationships with both parents
- The intent of each parent in their decision to move or oppose the move
- The strength and nature of each child’s relationship with his or her parents, siblings and other significant people in their lives, such as grandparents and friends
- The availability of other alternative arrangements that could be made to help the child maintain a relationship with each parent
- The child’s preferences, if he or she is of an age and maturity level that the court will take those preferences into consideration
- The age, maturity and needs of the child, particularly if the child has special needs
- Prior agreements that were made between the parents regarding travel and moving
- Whether the relocating parent has a recurring pattern of conduct that shows intent to harm or improve the noncustodial parent’s relationship with that child
- Whether the other parent is also able to relocate
- The financial impact of the relocation (or of stopping the relocation)
To learn more about child custody and visitation laws and the steps you need to take when relocating, consult an experienced Fresno and San Diego divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Rebecca Medina.