Move Aways: What Are Your Options?

If you or your coparent wants to relocate, what do you do?  Move aways can cause a hardship to one parent or the other.  They can also make the current child custody arrangement impossible to maintain.Hire San Diego Divorce Lawyer for  handling cases and providing quality services related to divorce or child custody.

A parent may move away due to a job, or to be closer to family.  A parent may also move away simply for a change of lifestyle or climate.  The parent does not have to establish that moving away is “necessary” in order to be awarded physical custody.  The court will consider whether the move would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.

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If a parent wants to relocate a great distance away from the other parent, will that require that the children stay behind?  First of all, the burden is upon the parent who is staying put to prove that the move by the other parent would be detrimental to the children.  Yet, the court retains the widest discretion to choose a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child.

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The court’s role is not to reward or punish either parent for their past conduct.  It may be considered, but only as it is relevant to what future arrangement will be best for the children.

A showing that separation by a great geographical distance would be detrimental to the relationship between the child and the nonmoving parent does not require that the child custody change, but the court may consider doing that to avoid affecting that relationship.

The court must look at the whole picture, which includes the children’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement; the distance of the move, the age of the children; the children’s relationship with both parents; the relationship between the parents including, but not limited to, their ability to communicate and cooperate effectively and their willingness to put the interests of the children above their individual interests; the wishes of the children if they are mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate; the reasons for the proposed move; and the extent to which the parents currently are sharing custody.

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If you are considering relocating, or if you disagree with the other parent’s proposed move, you need an attorney who can effectively present your position.  Please call attorney Michael C. MacNeil to schedule a consultation today.

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