California courts are not likely to grant one parent the right to move to another state and to take with them a child who has a relationship with the other parent.
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 chld custody and modification. Call now our Lawyer Hotline. We offer a free consultation to all new clients. Call now 916-443-1267 for your free consultation.
Move Away Orders
Move away orders are requests made to a court for one parent to relocate taking the child with them.
Move Away Orders Standards of Review
In a most recent case, the custodial parent sought the court’s permission for a child to relocate out of state with the custodial parent. The trial court found, based on the “best interests of the child” standard, that a move away order would be detrimental to the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent. On the appeal, the court noted that the trial courts properly utilized the “best interests of the child” standard since the parties only had temporary custody orders.
A court deciding on move away orders must consider other factors in addition to the what is in the “best interests of the child.” These other factors are:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The parents’ ability to provide for the child
- Whether the child lives in a stable environment
- How long the child has lived in a stable environment.
- The permanency of the custodial home
- The moral fitness of the parents
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The child’s preference if the appropriate
- Each parent’s willingness and ability to facilitate the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent.
In one case, where a court was deciding on a move away orders, the parents shared joint legal custody and had a 50-50 physical custody. The court based their decision on “the best interests of the child.” The other parent appealed, arguing that the trial court should have used the “substantial change in circumstances” standard to arrive at a decision for modification of custody. The Court of Appeal agreed that the substantial change in circumstances rule should be used when a parent is seeking a change in custody, but that in this case, the parent was not seeking a change in custody since both parents would continue to share joint legal and physical custody and only the physical custody arrangement would be modified. Since the parties shared joint legal and physical custody, the proper standard was the “best interests of the child.”
The California Supreme Court has confirmed that the standard to be used for a move away order is the “best interests of the child.” In a recent Supreme Court case, the custodial parent who had primary physical custody of a minor child sought to change the final custody order so they could move with the children to another state where they had family and had found a better job. The trial court found that, although the custodial parent was acting in good faith, the relocation would be detrimental to the children’s already difficult relationship with the non-custodial parent. That it would not promote California’s public policy that children should have “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents. Since the custodial parent’s request to move would make it difficult to maintain frequent and continuing contact with the non-custodial parent, the trial court ruled the move would not be in the best interest of the child. On appeal, the Court found that the trial court erred by failing to proceed from the presumption that the custodial parent had the right to change the residence of the children and to consider the great need for stability and continuity in the existing custodial arrangement. The California Supreme Court held that in order for the court to reevaluate a final child custody order, the noncustodial parent must show that the proposed relocation of the child’s residence would be detrimental to the child. Detriment is proved by considering many factors, one of which is the impact of the proposed move on the noncustodial parent’s relationship. If the noncustodial parent makes such an initial showing of detriment, the court must undertake the task of determining whether a change in custody is in the best interests of the children.
CALL NOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A FREE CONSULTATION