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Can a Parent with Primary Custody Move?

The parent with primary physical custody of their children is permitted to change their residence if it doesn’t interfere with what is best for the child. However, the custodial parent must make certain considerations before they can move.

If the Relocating Parent Has Sole Custody

If the relocating parent has sole custody of the child, they have a ‘presumptive right’ to move with their child. A presumptive right means that a court will presume the parent is authorized to do this. However, if the other parent has court-ordered visitation with the child, and the move disrupts this visitation arrangement, the non-custodial parent can object to the relocation and seek court intervention.

Depending on your custody agreement, you may need to notify the non-custodial parent before you begin your relocation. You should always consult with an attorney experienced in California move-away arrangements before beginning the process.

If the Parents Have Joint Custody

If the parents have joint custody of the child, they must both agree to the move before the relocating parent can take physical action. In California, the relocating parent must provide the non-relocating parent with a written notification of the move at least 45 days before the move. This is to allow the non-relocating parent time to either agree to the move or object.

If the parents agree on the move and come up with a new custody arrangement, the move can go on as planned. If the parents can’t agree on a new custody situation or the non-relocating parent objects to the move, they must take this matter to a California court.

When deciding whether or not to allow the move, the court will consider:

  • the distance of the move;
  • any potential harm the move could cause to the child;
  • the child’s relationship to both parents;
  • the parent’s relationship with each other;
  • the custodial parent’s reasons for relocating;
  • how the move will affect the child’s emotional, physical, and educational needs; and
  • the child’s relationship to extended family in the area.

Advocating for Your Parental Rights

At Aharonov & Revy Family Law, our lawyers have extensive experience in parental relocation cases. We will help you ensure the final decision is in your child’s best interest.

Call our firm today at (818) 960-1330 or contact us online for your legal consultation.