PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options

Reviewing the issue of parental relocation

Following a divorce, one may feel a strong desire to move away from San Francisco. The pain of separation may still be fresh for some, and seeing reminders of their married days might prolong that pain, A move represents a clean break and a chance to start over in a new area. Americans in general are movers; information shared by Psychology Today that 16 percent of Americans change residents every calendar year. Yet if one has children with his or her ex-pouse, moving away can suddenly become quite complicated. 

Several states require that certain procedures need to be followed before the court will allow one to leave the area while still maintaining their current custody situation. Fortunately, California does not. Per the Judicial Branch of California, parents who have sole physical custody have already been granted the presumptive right to move away with the kids. No formal notice needs to be given to the court. If the other parent opposes the move, it is up to him or her to convince the court that moving away would be detrimental to the kids as well as his or her relationship with them. However, even if the court agrees with that argument, it typically will not bar a parent who wants to move from leaving. Rather, both parents will typically be asked to revise their custody or visitation schedule. 

Parents who have joint custody who want to move away will find that they are the ones who have to sell the idea to court before leaving. Typically, the expectation in such a scenario is that the parents will come together to revisit their custody agreement to find a amiable solution that is in the best interest of both sides. 

FindLaw Network