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What Are California Laws in Regard to Child Relocation? 

Our board-certified, award-winning family law attorneys have decades of combined experience in dealing with even the most complex and contentious family law disputes. Our San Diego family law attorneys provide compassionate, expert counsel to provide legal counsel for child relocation issues.

During the pendency of a dissolution action, neither party is permitted to move the residence of the children out of the State of California without permission from the other party or court order. Once a judgment is entered setting forth child custody and child sharing orders, this restriction may no longer apply.

California law requires the primary custodial parent notify the other in advance of any intention to move out of the County. In some judgments/orders, the primary custodial parent is prohibited from changing the residence of a child outside the County, without obtaining a court order or written consent of the other parent. Practically speaking, if the non-moving parent objects to the other parent’s move, litigation is likely to occur.

Existing California case law permits the primary custodial parent to move in certain circumstances. However, when the lesser timeshare parent has a substantial percentage of time with the child, or can show a detriment to the child if the move is permitted, permission to change the child’s residence may be denied.


Understanding the Challenges in California Move-Away Cases 

Move away cases, especially if the intended move is for a substantial distance away from the non-moving parent, present significant challenges. A psychological evaluation may be required. Although the motives of the moving parent are not the determining factor, if there is a history of interference with child sharing and/or parental alienation, court permission for the move away may be denied.

If a move away motion is granted, the pre-existing child sharing arrangement will require adjustment. Generally, visits with the non-moving parent are for longer periods of time, but on a less frequent basis. A collateral issue is how the parties will pay for the cost of transportation for child sharing. Frequently, disputes ensue as to whether or not the children need to be accompanied during any transportation.

The Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC is well versed in applying for and resisting move away motions. Call (888) 860-8544 to discuss your legal rights with the firm’s experienced family lawyers in San Diego.


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“I have had the pleasure of dealing the Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider for 9 years. My divorce case was very complicated. Win Heiskala, along with her team and her highly efficient paralegal, Eileen Atkinson, have ferreted out the many, many burdensome conflicts that arose out of the divorce. Win Heiskala is extremely competent in every area of family law. She and Eileen keep things perfectly organized. Win always amazes me with her instant recall of facts and documents. Her reputation with family court and civil judges is stellar. I have recommended Win and her firm to several other clients.”

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