How does the type of custody order impact a parental relocation?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Firm News |

After a divorce or a relationship has ended, the parties might choose to move to a different location. In California, those who share a child need to understand how the child custody and parenting time arrangement will be affected by this.

A parent wanting to relocate with their child does not necessarily need to lead to a contentious argument. Still, there are fundamental points to protect the parents’ rights and to ensure the child’s best interests are served.

The judge will look at the custody order when deciding on a relocation

In a custody determination, there is legal custody and physical custody. With legal custody, a parent will make the decisions for the child. Physical custody refers to the parent who has the child residing with them for the bulk of the time.

The parents can have shared custody or sole custody. Shared custody is also referred to as “joint” custody. If there is sole custody, that parent can make all the decisions for the child without consulting with the other parent.

These designations are critical if a parent wants to move away and the other has concerns or is outright opposed to it. A parent who is trying to move and has sole physical custody will have an easier time with the judge when asking to relocate. In addition, the physical custody order is paramount. If it is a permanent order, then there is a greater likelihood that the judge will approve the move despite the other parent’s objections.

From the other parent’s perspective, they might believe that the move will be detrimental to the child and hinder their best interests. If that is shown to be the case, then the judge can reject the relocation request.

Two sides

Parents might want to relocate for a variety of reasons – many of which are reasonable and perfectly understandable. The other parent could oppose it for reasons of their own such as thinking their parenting time will be reduced and the relationship with the child damaged because of it.

The type of custody arrangement must be considered when relocating. Both a parent who wants to move and aparent who is trying to stop it should know how to make their argument to achieve their objectives or negotiate. Contacting experienced family law professionals can help with child custody and parenting time issues.