Moving away with your child? Do it the right way
Moving is stressful enough; moving with your child when you have a custody or visitation order can be especially difficult. In these situations, there are legal obstacles you must navigate. And if you do not take the proper steps, you could put your child and your parental rights in danger.
If you wish to relocate outside of California or come here from another state, the following steps can make the situation less problematic.
Get permission first
You need permission to move away with your child if you have a custody or visitation order in place. If you do not have permission, you can face allegations of custodial interference or even kidnapping.
Sometimes, the other parent will agree to the relocation. They may not see their child much, or they may recognize the benefits of the move, like a better quality of life for their child.
However, many non-custodial parents will not agree to a move. This does not mean a parent cannot relocate. It means they must go to court to seek approval. The courts consider several factors, the most important being whether relocating is in the child’s best interests.
Make necessary adjustments
After getting permission to move away with your child, there are still adjustments you may need to make. Maintaining the relationship between the other parent and your child can require more effort after moving. For instance, you may need to set up regular video chats or pay travel expenses.
If the courts do not approve a request to relocate with your child, you can still move. However, doing so can require a new custody order based on the new circumstances, and it can mean less time with your child.
Avoid putting your child in a difficult position
Above all, it is crucial for parents wishing to relocate with a child to protect their child’s best interests and well-being.
Consider how moving away will affect your child and their relationship with the other parent. Think about what their life will look like after moving or what will happen if you move away without them.
Further, parents should not put a child in a bad situation by violating a court order, taking them to an unsafe place or putting them in the middle of a parental dispute.
These steps can make move-away cases easier for parents to navigate.