We have become a more mobile society and it is no longer uncommon for families to relocate for a variety of reasons. But what happens when you are separated or divorced with children and you or your former spouse announces a move that will impact your contact schedule? The first step in the analysis is to determine where you are in the legal process because there are different legal standards if the anticipated move will occur during the phase before trial or after final disposition.
Next, you should also identify if the moving parent is the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent. If you are the custodial parent and moving parent, then you are not required to show that the move is necessary. However, the other parent has the burden to prove that the proposed relocation of the child would cause detriment that requires a re-evaluation of the custody arrangement.
If the noncustodial parent is successful, then the court has to balance several factors to help determine if a change of circumstances is in the best interest of the child. Those factors are:
(1) The children’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement;
(2) The distance of the move;
(3) The ages of the children;
(4) The children’s relationship with both parents;
(5) The relationship between the parents;
(6) The wishes of the children;
(7) The reasons for the proposed moved; and
(8) The extent to which the parents are currently sharing custody.
Move away custody cases are some of the hardest cases to litigate in family law matters. Contact our office if you require assistance with your matter.
Shannon R. Loeser, Esq.
Certified Family Law Specialist
28202 Cabot Road, Suite 520
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Tel: (949) 392-5050