Most California couples believe their marriages will last forever. Sadly, that’s not always the case as divorce is sometimes necessary. However, things are more difficult with children involved. If you are planning to relocate with your kids after a divorce, it’s crucial to know what to expect.
Child Custody in California
Per California family law, divorced or estranged parents can gain legal or physical custody. In many instances, the court grants both parents joint custody; however, if one parent has legal custody and the other doesn’t, things may be complex if one parent wants to move with their children.
Relocating with children
Although a parent has the right to relocate for many reasons such as work or wanting a change of scenery, the court may have to determine whether they can do so with their children. The biggest priority to the judge is what’s in the child’s best interests. If one parent has sole physical custody of the kids, they can legally move somewhere else with them. However, if both parents share custody, the judge might allow the relocation if the move is not a long distance.
In situations where one parent has custody and the other has visitation only, the one relocating must give at least 45 days’ notice to the other. This gives ample time to create a new custody and visitation arrangement if the parent moving is within reasonable distance of the other.
If the parents are unable to agree on their own, mediation might be necessary. This is also a better option than going to court, which can result in a drawn-out battle and create stress.
Parents are often allowed to relocate with their children. The move must always be in the child’s best interests and not interfere with their everyday life.