Can parents relocate with children after a divorce?

| May 17, 2021 | Custody |

Throughout people’s lives in southern California they may move around and live in different homes or in different cities. They may move to have a bigger home, for a job, to be closer to family and for many other reasons. Moves can be easier when people do not have children, however, once people have children there are additional considerations people need to make when they make these moves.

This is true whether the parents are married or divorce, but it is especially true when the parents are divorced. When they are divorced there may be child custody and parenting time orders in place that state when the other parent sees the children and also which parent will be making the decisions for the children. When one parent decides to move it can affect both custody and parenting time. Parents need to follow these orders and if the other parent does not agree to the move, a judge may need to decide whether the parent can move.

Reasons to allow a parent to relocate

When judges need to make this decision there are different factors that they will analyze depending on the current custody and parenting time orders. If the moving parent has sole physical custody of the children, they typically can move unless the non-custodial parent can prove that the move will harm the children.

If the parents have joint physical custody of the children, the moving parent will have to demonstrate that the move is in the best interests of the children. To determine if the move is in the children’s best interest judges will analyze how the changes will affect the children and their relationship with the non-moving parent.

There are many parents in southern California who have custody orders in place and may want to move for a variety of reasons. Before they make the move, it is important that they speak with the other parent to determine if they are in agreement with the move. If they are not then a judge will have to decide whether they can move or not. These are very fact-specific decisions depending on the specific circumstances of the parents and children. Consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.