After a divorce, you may want to move with your children for a new job, to be closer to your family, or just to get a fresh start. Parental rights are heavily protected in both New York and California, and you don’t have the right to just pick up and move away. Your ex, in most cases, must agree to your move. He or she also has the right to challenge your right to take your children with you.
This is a legal problem that requires the help of an experienced child custody lawyer. Whenever a move away impacts an existing custody order, whether the order is temporary or permanent, the issue must be handled very carefully, with assistance from an experienced child custody lawyer.
- California Code 3024 states: “… the court may specify that a parent shall notify the other parent if the parent plans to change the residence of the child for more than 30 days, unless there is prior written agreement to the removal.”
- New York laws are similar, and any divorced parent who wants to relocate should connect with a qualified child custody attorney prior to making firm plans.
The bottom line is that you cannot just up and move away with your children. Parental relocation must be handled by a legal professional that understands how the court comes to a decision, and how to best present your case. Gastelum Law is here to assist in all child custody matters, including contested move away orders.
The Best Interests of the Child: A Move Away Order
The court decides upon changes in child custody, as well as a parent moving away with the children, based strictly upon what will be in the best interests of the child. If your ex opposes the move, you have a legal problem on your hands. The child custody lawyer representing you must be very familiar with move away orders, and how to present a powerful and persuasive argument to the court regarding the benefits of the move.
If you and your former spouse have joint physical custody and the other parent opposes your move, there are several possible outcomes — including the possibility that physical custody will be given to your ex, rather than allowing you to take your children with you when you move.
Child Custody Modifications and Move Away Orders
The first step is for your lawyer to file a motion with the court to modify the existing custody orders. Once your lawyer has filed the motion, your ex has the right to file a motion for the children to remain in the area rather than move.
You and your ex spouse will be required to go to mediation to try to sort out the situation, and come up with a new parenting plan. If you cannot come to an agreement, your issue will advance to a hearing in court.
If you have sole custody of your child, your ex will need to present evidence to prove that your move will be detrimental to the child. Some of the issues that the court will review include the following:
- The distance you plan to move away.
- The age of the child or children.
- How much time your child currently spends with each parent.
- Issues such as schooling, nearby relatives, and other factors that impact the child’s quality of life.
- The reasons for the move.
- The reasons the other parent opposes the move.
- The ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child if the move away occurs.
If you are planning to move away, get in touch with Gastelum Law prior to committing to the move. The custody of your children is an important issue, and how your case resolves will, in large part, be the result of the quality of your legal representation. Call us. We are ready to discuss your situation now.