How the Court Can Stop You from Moving Out of State with Your Children

By The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch|February 17, 2021

It’s an offensive thought. You have custody of your children. You can move to a different state, whether it is for a job, marriage, or you want to move. However, the court can prevent you from moving with your children. If your ex does not agree to the move or the judge does not agree to let you go, you may be stuck right where you are.

Custody battles are challenging and rarely end after the divorce. Life continues to happen; children grow, and circumstances change. The custody agreement may have to be amended occasionally to reflect the family’s needs. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, you will have a certified Family Law Specialist to help you. When you need a child custody attorney in Westlake Village, California, you need the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch.

What You Need to Know

In the state of California, in-state moves obtain approval quickly. If you want to move out of state, there are things you should know to prepare.

  1. You must file a written notice to the court to petition to move 45 days in advance. This allows both parents time to work out a new parent-time agreement.
  2. Should the non-custodial parent disagree with the move, they can move for a hearing.
  3. A judge may consider a change in custody. Here are some factors a judge will consider:
      1. A judge will hold the children’s best interest. If the judge believes the move will negatively impact the child, they will consider a change of custody.
      2. The distance of the proposed move will factor into play. Will the non-custodial parent still be able to have a relationship with the child?
      3. The child’s need for stability. If you are moving for a new job, will you work more hours and thus interfere with the child’s current continuity?
      4. Will there be any harm as a result of the move? Will the custodial parent relocate to a more dangerous environment?
      5. The parent’s ability to communicate with each other. If the parents do not have a stable relationship and the ability to speak, will the move strain the relationship more? How will this affect the child?
      6. The reasons for the move play an important role.
      7. How will the move affect emotional, physical, and educational needs?
      8. Does the child have any extended family in the present community? New location?

An example of a change in custody would be if a mother, the primary caregiver, and the custodial parent were to relocate to another state. Her desire for the move is solely to be where she grew up. If the father can prove the children are having trouble adjusting to the move, a judge can award custody to the father. Unfortunately, when children are involved, the courts step in quite often. As a parent, if you wish to relocate, it is best to speak to a knowledgeable attorney to prevent losing custody of your children.

What if We Never Married? Do I Still Have to Petition the Court

In cases where the parents were never married, the natural mother assumes all rights. The court can order a paternity test if you are a father and wish to establish parentage. With this, a father can assert his rights through the courts for visitation (parent time). A father may also petition the court to prevent the relocation of his children.

Custody battles between unmarried parents have grown over recent years as people are marrying less frequently. If you are an unwed parent, you have rights that protect your interests. Contact our law firm today to discuss your case. We will examine your goals and discuss the best course of action in the future.

Call The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch Today

When you need to modify your family court order, you need a family law lawyer in Westlake Village, California. Call the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch today. Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-707-0202.

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