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What Happens When One Parent Wants to Move?

The attorneys at Doppelt and Forney, APLC specialize in all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and even child relocation. Whether you are the parent who is moving away, or you are the parent who is opposing the move away, contact a family law attorney immediately to better understand your rights as a parent. Call now at 800-769-4748 to schedule your free in-person or virtual consultation. With over 50 years combined experience, the family law attorneys at Doppelt and Forney, APLC are here to give you peace of mind during this stressful time in your life.

Usually, both of a children’s parents tend to live relatively close to each other. Even after a divorce or break up, both parents tend to keep the same jobs, keep the same friends, and keep their children in the same schools. However, it is not uncommon for one parent to want to move, whether it be to another city, another state, or even country.

If one parent moves away with the child, this will certainly affect the other parent’s relationship with the child in a significant way. The staying parent may want to completely stop the move away from happening, out of fear he/she will no longer be able to maintain a positive relationship with the child. On the other hand, the moving parent may argue the move is necessary.

A parent may choose to move for a variety of legitimate reasons. Whether it be a new job opportunity, a relationship, or simply the desire to move to another place for a fresh start. But, it’s not as simple as just packing up and moving.

If the parent opposes the relocation of the child, the courts will have to revisit the issue of custody and visitation. Whether you are the relocating parent or the parent who is remaining in the same location, you should speak to a family law attorney so you can better understand your rights as a parent.

For a pre-judgement child custody case involving a move-away, the Court will focus on the best interests of the child.

The facts that the court will likely review include:

  • The age and health of the child.
  • How far away the child will be moving
  • The level of difficulty, accessibility and expense for seeing the other parent.
  • The reason for the relocation
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The amount of time each parent will spend with the child
  • If the move will negatively affect the child’s quality of life
  • And more.

For post-judgement move-away cases, the parent with primary physical custody can move away with the children unless the other parent can prove that the move would harm the children or that the motive of the move is to frustrate the other parents’ time with the children.

If parents have joint physical custody of the children and one parent does not want the child to move, the parents must first use Family Court Services to try to come to an agreement. If no agreement has been reached, the court will hold an evidentiary hearing with oral testimony in order to make a new custody decision.

Speaking to a lawyer will help you understand how the court will analyze these issues, and a lawyer will provide you with realistic expectations as to the outcome of your case.

Top San Diego Lawyers for Child Relocation

If you are dealing with a child relocation issue, whether you are the moving parent or the staying parent, you should discuss your options with a top San Diego family law attorney. At Doppelt and Forney, APLC, we are here to help you and make sure your rights as a parent are being protected. Call today to schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation.

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