Can I Move Away With My Kids After Divorce?

Life changes after divorce and resilient people change with it. You might be seeking a higher paying job, needing the support of your family, or beginning a new relationship in a different city or state. If you have sole or joint custody of your children, the question is, can you move away and take the children with you?

The courts cannot tell you whether or not you can move. As an adult, you have a Constitutional right to live where you choose. They can, however, decide whether your kids can move away with you.

If you want to move away and take your children along, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, PLC, our Los Angeles family law attorneys have many years of experience handling child custody matters. We can guide you through the process of seeking new court orders allowing you to move away with your children.

How Far Away Does A Move Need To Be To Require A Court Order?

When your divorce was granted, a final child custody order was issued. You may have been awarded joint custody with your ex-spouse, or sole custody with a visitation arrangement established for the other parent.

Your move could be to a neighboring town thirty miles away, or it could be a coast-to-coast move across the country. If it disrupts the existing custody and visitation schedule, the move must be approved by the court if the children are to accompany you.

How Moving Away With Kids After Divorce Is Decided

Before the issue of moving away with kids after divorce is brought before the judge, the parents must attempt to resolve all issues through mediation. You can try to reach an agreement with your former spouse about where your children will live, and how visitation will be arranged. If you and the other parent cannot agree, a hearing will be set, and the matter will be decided by the judge.

What the Courts Consider in Move-Away Cases

When you petition the court for permission to move away with your children, the type of custody you have will make a difference in the court’s approach to the decision.

  • Joint custody: There is no need to show changed circumstances to the court when both parents have joint custody. After hearing the evidence, the judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
  • Sole custody: If you have sole custody of your children, you have a presumptive right to move away with them. The other parent has the burden of showing how the move would be detrimental to the children. A move-away could impact the relationship between your children and the other parent, but that factor alone may not be enough to establish that it would detrimental. If the other parent fails to show that the move would be detrimental, the judge will issue new orders allowing your children to move away with you.

Our family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, PLC have the knowledge and skills to assist you. Schedule a consultation to discuss your move-away or other family law matters.