Can I Relocate with My Kids After A Divorce? What a Judge May Consider
A divorce brings multiple changes for all family members, especially children. The determination to relocate with your children following a divorce depends upon a variety of factors. Ensuring that you follow all legal requirements regarding your custody agreement is essential before you move. If you recently divorced and want to relocate with your children, a California family law attorney can assist you with your case.
An Important Factor: The Type of Custody You Have
The type of custody you have can impact the steps you must take and the type of probable court decision. There are two important factors courts consider in cases involving the possible relocation of children:
Full custody: A parent with full, legal custody of a child or children must inform the noncustodial parent. The noncustodial parent may fight the move; however, they must prove that the move will harm their relationship with the child. Their case against such a move happens in an evidentiary hearing.
Joint or shared custody: Joint or shared custody poses a different challenge. A parent who opposes the move and who sees the child frequently may prevent a case for how the move is detrimental to the child’s well-being.
The custody order an earlier court provided is important for your case. The judge presiding over your case may also consider the motivation for the impending move. If the judge believes the move is due to spite the other parent, they may decline the request.
A child should never serve as a pawn during a divorce nor should a parent move to purposely prevent visitation. California family courts take these and other factors seriously. The Pedrick Law Group, APC, can protect your child’s best interest regarding such a crucial decision. The best decision for the child is at the core of our legal strategy.
Relocation and Your Child’s Best Interest
Uprooting a child from their home, a community, their school, and their friends is hard at any age. The decision is one not to take lightly. Whether you are the parent planning to relocate your child or you face your child moving far away, a California family lawyer can help you.
A lawyer can review the details of your case and determine how they apply to California law. They can then prepare to represent you in family court.
Securing legal representation can protect your best interests as you go before a family court judge. A judge typically considers the following types of factors in a relocation request:
The child-parent relationship: The relationship between the child and a parent is at the core of the request. This applies to both the parent requesting approval for the move and the parent opposing the move. Abuse or other negative circumstances can result in a denial by the judge.
Family dynamics: If the move involves remarriage, the child may obtain a new stepfather and half-siblings. The child may also leave half-siblings and a stepparent behind due to the move. Both scenarios are emotionally difficult for a child in addition to adjusting to a new environment.
A child’s preferences: Depending upon the child’s age and maturity, a judge may consider what the child prefers to occur. The child’s preference plays an important role; however, a judge must balance the preference among other crucial factors.
Benefits of the move for the child: Concerns are understandable when a child leaves everything they know and hold dear. A judge may also consider any possible benefits for the child, such as:
- Access to a better education
- More stable home environment
- Improved financial security due to the relocation
This is not a complete list, yet it provides a glimpse into important considerations. Presenting a strong case for —or against —your child’s relocation requires careful thought and preparation. Entrusting your case to a family lawyer can ease your stress as you deal with your daily demands.
At the core of every relation request involving a child is what is best for the child. Hiring a lawyer can provide a neutral party who can keep the information and facts separate from a highly emotional matter.
The Pedrick Law Group, APC: Providing Child Custody Representation
The request to relocate a child can result from a new job, marriage, or other circumstance. If a parent requests to move with a child, they must notify the other parent in writing within a required time period.
At the Pedrick Law Group, APC, we work hard to provide strong representation for our clients. Family court is unique and unlike civil or criminal court. We focus on family law matters that affect many families throughout California.
If you live in Encino, Orange County, or the surrounding area, let us help you. The legal process often requires patience. The sooner you reach out to us, the faster we can get to work for building your case.
A new environment and the separation from loved ones can cause anxiety for anyone. For a child, such changes are often traumatic if not handled properly. You can help your child after a divorce by taking the following steps:
- Do not discuss your legal case before them
- Refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of them
- Maintain as much of a daily routine for your child as possible
No matter where you stand on a possible move of your child, keeping animosity out of the mix is vital. A judge may consider the animosity between parents when ruling on the request.
The Pedrick Law Group, APC wants to help you secure the best outcome possible. Gather your custody papers and contact us online or call us for a free evaluation: 949-388-8682.
You do not have to face the family court judge alone. The Pedrick Law Group, APC, is on your side as you fight to keep your child close or to relocate them to a new home.