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Ventura Relocation Attorneys

Relocation & Custody Following a Divorce

During a divorce, one of the spouses will sometimes desire to relocate to a different geographic region with their child. In California, recent court decisions have interpreted the law to give parents who object to such a move a significant opportunity to fight this on the basis that the move would not be in the child's best interests based upon various factors considered by the court.

On the other hand, sometimes a parent seeks out a relocation opportunity to provide a better life for his/her child. If this is the case, this parent will have to convince the court why this move would be beneficial to the child.

The court upholds the best interests of the child standard when making relocation decisions. It is very common for the court to assume that relocating would not be in the child’s best interests. However, with a lawyer’s help and some planning, a parent could convince the court otherwise.

How Is Relocation Determined in California?

The court refers to certain factors to make these decisions and often seeks the advice of custody evaluators to help as well.

When deciding whether to grant the move the court is required to consider many factors, including:

  • The stability and continuity of custodial relationships
  • The distance of the move and the impact it could have on visitation
  • The reason for the move
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Community and family members in the current and proposed locations
  • The age of the child
  • The relationship between the parents
  • The child’s needs and preferences

Both parents may agree to the move and the custody change terms. Additionally, a relocating parent needs court approval to move the child – regardless of the state.

Can a Custodial Parent Relocate with a Child?

A custodial parent, or the parent who has been given physical custody of the child, has the right to move to a new residence or neighborhood only if this change will not be detrimental to the child.

California law states that a parent must provide written notice of such a move. This must be sent out at least 45 days before the actual move so the parents can formulate a new custody and/or visitation agreement. The parent who does not want to relocate can then file an objection to this move if he/she would like and ask the court for assistance.

Why Would You Want to Relocate with Your Child?

There are many valid and beneficial reasons as to why you might consider relocating with your child. Here are some reasons why you might relocate as a parent:

To be closer to family members:

  • If being around more family members would be in the best interests of your child, you might want to move – especially if your family could help with childcare needs. Additionally, there is only so much a parent can teach a child. Extended family members help with raising the child, offer diverse perspectives, and can expose the child to different ideas and activities.

For better employment opportunities:

  • As a parent, being able to provide for your child is extremely important. If relocating would allow you to pursue a better job with employment benefits, the court would look favorably on this.

For better housing opportunities:

  • Families with safe and stable home environments often have less health problems, improved school performance, and less psychological stress.

Contact Our Relocation Attorneys for Your Relocation Needs

Our attorneys have over seven decades of experience handling family law matters, including relocation cases. We understand how important your family’s health and wellbeing are to you. If relocating would be detrimental to your child, we will fight to stop this from happening. Alternatively, if a move would greatly benefit your child, we promise to do our best to make that a reality.

If you have concerns about how custody in a relocation case works, contact us online or call us at (805) 222-7818 and let us know what we can do for you.

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    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.