Rules for child custody relocation

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2022 | Child Custody & Visitation |

It is not uncommon for a parent to move to another city or state after a divorce. However, there are regulations in place to ensure the children’s best interests are protected. If you’re thinking of relocating or your ex is moving, here are some child custody factors to consider as a California resident.

Reasons for relocation

It can be overwhelming to consider the fact that your child’s other parent is moving away, particularly if they want to take the children with them. You may also be hesitant to plan a move for yourself if you’ve recently gone through a divorce or separation and want to make sure your children are properly cared for.

The type of child custody you have will dictate how much the courts will be involved with your relocation. The courts will, however, always take the child’s best interest into account when you submit your relocation request. Some reasons are considered more justifiable than others. The courts will also consider whether the parent looking to relocate is consistently involved in the child’s life or if the parent who is not moving will want regular visitation.

The best interests of the child

The courts will always think about what is best for the children involved in a child custody case. Usually, the relocation will be approved if it does not significantly disrupt the life of the child(ren).

The parent who wants to move will have to persuade the court that relocation would be a positive experience for the child. On the other hand, the parent who is not moving will have to provide evidence that the move will not benefit the children.

The move should:

  • provide consistency in the child’s routine
  • help to maintain the child’s safety and/or health
  • keep familial bonds intact

The courts may also try to determine whether the child actually wants to move. A judge may take into consideration a child’s age and whether he or she is mature enough to understand the situation.