If you have children, divorce can be one of the most stressful and emotional experiences of your life. Even after the dust has settled, divorce can create challenges you don’t expect until further down the road.
Relocation can be an unexpected hurdle in the aftermath of divorce. You want to stay involved in your child’s life and build a strong relationship with them. You might think that relocation will change everything. So, what can you do if your ex wants to move away with your child?
What do California laws say about relocation?
In California, the best interests of the child are always the most important. The court will likely question whether the move will negatively affect the child’s well-being or if the child will be able to adapt to the changes. They will consider the child’s health and safety as well as the child’s own wishes if they are old enough.
If you have joint custody of your child, but your ex has physical custody – meaning your child lives with your ex – your ex must submit a notice of relocation. California requires the notice to be sent at least 45 days before the move.
Can I contest the move?
You have the right to dispute your ex’s decision to move. In that instance, your ex will have to show the court that the move will be a positive change for the child.
The court will make the final decision on whether the move will be in your child’s best interests. If the court decides that a move will be detrimental to your child, your ex will not be able to move away.
If the court allows your ex to move, your joint custody agreement does not change. Instead, you will have to update your parenting plans to reflect the move and determine how you can continue to see your child without sacrificing your relationship.
As a parent, you want the best for your child. You want to be around to see them grow up. If you believe that your ex moving away will hurt your child and damage your relationship with them, an experienced attorney can help you through a dispute and protect your parenting rights.