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What Happens When One Parent Wants to Relocate With The Children?

Parents have an obligation to do what is right for their children’s well-being. When couples split, whether they were married or not, co-parenting becomes the focus of their lives going forward. So, what happens when one parent is relocated for work, or must move to make a better life for their children, including moving closer to family or a positive support system?

Moving children away from their other parent is a complex undertaking and not one the court will take lightly. While each custody agreement differs, moving your children for any reason is going to require a child custody attorney in Los Angeles to deliver success.

Custody Decisions Can Interrupt Plans to Move Away with Children

The California Courts are only interested in the best interests of the children in each case they rule on. That includes custody cases, and how each parent is awarded time with their kids. Moving children away from another parent is not ideal since the courts focus on the importance of both parents being involved in their children’s lives.

Primary Physical Custody

If you are awarded primary physical custody of your children, it is possible to move unless the other parent can prove that doing so would harm the children. Other questions regarding sole custody can include whether it was awarded temporarily or permanently. If you have temporary primary custody of your children, moving them away can be effectively challenged by the other parent because the custodial designation may change going forward.

If the other parent is not physically involved in the children’s lives or cannot be found and alerted to an impending move, the parent who is moving must prove that every attempt at locating and notifying the other parent was made before the move is approved through the courts.

Joint Physical Custody

When both parents share custody of the children, the parent who wants to move the children must prove that doing so is in their best interests. Current parenting schedules and plans will play a large part in the judge’s decision to approve the move.

When both parents have significant roles in their children’s lives, moving the kids away from the other parent is going to be challenging but not impossible. Depending on the reason for the move, our Los Angeles County attorney can make a compelling argument that your livelihood and that of the children will thrive in your new location.

Continuing to See Your Children After a Move Occurs

If your children’s other parent is approved to move, for a job relocation or another positive circumstance that will benefit the children, it is important that the other parent remain involved in the kids’ lives.

Luckily, technology can improve a long-distance relationship through texting, video messaging, phone conversations, and social media that allows photos of your and their experiences to be shared regularly. This does not take the place of physical visits, which will be agreed upon by both parents, or by the courts if the adults cannot agree on a shared parenting plan going forward.

If you want to move your children away from their other parent or believe that their other parent has plans to move, contact our family law attorneys at the Land Legal Group in Los Angeles, California by calling (310) 746-5856 to discuss your relocation plans during a free initial consultation. 

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