Can you relocate with your child after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Custody |

In California, you can relocate with your child if the move will not affect the custody orders between you and your spouse. However, you must discuss your relocation plan with the other parent before leaving with your child.

If your move interferes with the custody orders, you may need to secure a court order from a judge before leaving. Here’s what to expect from a relocation case:

What to know before relocating

Generally, if you have sole physical custody, the judge will let you relocate with your kid. However, if the other parent proves that moving away might harm the child, the judge may bar you from leaving.

When it comes to relocation cases, judges make decisions based on the child’s best interests. They will consider various factors before issuing a court order for your move. These factors include the distance of the move, the relationship between you and your former spouse and the child’s age.

For example, if you have an older child, a judge may ask a counselor to talk to your kid to determine their wants. If your child wants to stay, the judge may not allow you to take them if you leave because your kid may be unhappy with the move.

Considerations before moving away

A parenting plan may help you and your former spouse address relocation issues in the future. When developing this plan, you can include how the two of you should proceed if one of you wants to move away with your child and add terms specifying how far away a move can be to make negotiations easier.

If you already have a child custody and visitation order, review them and see what orders your child’s other parent must follow during the relocation process.