Life can be complicated and raising a family can become more difficult should you want to move from the State of California for a better job or relocate to start a new life. After a California divorce, many parents wish to relocate which in itself does not pose too many problems – you find a place where you want to live, get a job, and move. However, when you are coming out of a marriage with children, moving becomes a very complicated undertaking. So, how do you move to another state with your children?
The Law Offices of Edward Misleh, APC is a Sacramento law firm, located in Sacramento, California that practices family law and represents clients in Sacramento, California and clients in Northern California with services they need and deserve when addressing child custody and modification. Call now our Lawyer Hotline. We offer a free consultation to all new clients. Affordable rates and payment plans are also available. Call now 916-443-1267 for your free consultation.
Move Away Order
A move away order is most often requested when a parent who has a permanent order for sole physical custody (also called “primary physical custody”) wants to move away with the children. The move away order will be granted unless the other parent can show that the move would harm the children.
If the parents have joint physical custody of the children and one parent does not want the child to move, the parent that wants to move with the children must show the court that the move is in the best interest of the children.
Child Custody & Visitation
In California, when you obtain a divorce from a marriage with children, you will receive a court order outlining custody and visitation arrangements. Visitation, or parenting time, is based on “the best interest of the children.” The overall goal of these orders is for both parents to maintain frequent and continuing contact with their children.
A move away order is required when a parent, who has either sole or joint custody of their children, decides to move to a location that is far enough away to disrupt the current court-ordered visitation schedule. Because the move will effect the current custody arrangement new custody and visitation orders must be obtained.
Court Petition for Move Away Order
Should a parent want to move away with their children, one of the parents must file a motion with the court for new custody orders. A parent can file to obtain permission to move with their children or a parent can file to modify custody so that their children can stay. The court will then decide whether the children should move with that parent and, if so, what the visitation arrangement should be.
If the parents have joint custody, the court will hold an evidentiary hearing to assist in arriving at a decision on a new custody order based on the best interests of the child.
If one parent has sole custody, the parent with sole custody has a “presumptive right” to move with their children. The other parent has the burden to show that the move would be detrimental to the child, creating a change of circumstances and requiring a reevaluation of the custody order. Proving a detrimental effect on the children can be difficult. If the non-moving parent cannot show a detriment, the child will be allowed to move. If the non-moving parent is able to make an initial showing that the move will be harmful to the children, then the court will hold a hearing to reconsider the custody order and determine whether a change in the order is in the best interests of the child
At the evidentiary hearing, a judge will examine any evidence submitted and hear testimony from parents, child custody evaluators, and others with relevant information regarding the child’s best interests. Additionally, the court must consider a child’s wishes regarding custody and visitation if the child is old enough and mature enough to make an intelligent preference. Children who are 14 years of age or older must be allowed to testify unless the court finds that it is not in their best interest. Children under the age of 14 may testify if the court finds that it is appropriate.
Other evidence the court will consider:
- The time the child spends with each parent under the current arrangement.
- How long the current custody order has been in place.
- The child’s relationship with both parents
- A child’s relationship and ties to friends, school, and community activities.
- The distance involved for the move.
- The age of the children.
- The parents’ relationship
- The purpose of the move.
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