After your marriage ends, you may want to leave the Central Valley area or even completely relocate from California. Maybe you have a great job opportunity or want to have a family support system nearby.
Whatever the reason for your planned move, you may need to request court permission if you want to relocate with your minor children.
Review the custody agreement
Your existing custody order may specify whether either parent can move with the children. If California gave you primary physical custody of your children, the other parent must prove that relocating would harm the child to successfully contest the move. If you and the child’s other parent share physical custody, you must show the court that the move serves the child’s best interests if the other parent files an objection to prevent you from moving.
Provide legal notice
You must file a petition with the court that issued your custody order at least 45 days before your planned relocation date. The other parent has a chance to contest the move. He or she can also ask the court to modify custody to keep you from moving with the child.
Attend the hearing
When deciding whether a move will benefit the child, the judge will review evidence about:
- Why you plan to move
- Whether the child has siblings and other extended family in either location
- Your child’s current relationship with each parent
- The level of stability in each household
- The distance of the move
- Your ability to successfully coparent
The judge will also ensure that your child will be able to maintain a relationship with the other parent after you relocate. This may require a change to the existing visitation schedule.