If you’re a parent, you may be wondering how to get permission to move out of state with a child. Maybe you’ve gotten a new job offer, or maybe you need some help and want to be closer to your family or other people in your support network. Regardless of the reason, here’s what you need to know about moving out of state with a child after divorce.
How to Get Permission to Move Out of State With a Child
When you divorce your spouse, you’ll work out a custody agreement that details where your child will live and which parent will be able to make important decisions regarding the child’s welfare. If you want to move out of state with your child, you’ll have to get the court’s permission – and that may not be easy.
If you have custody of your child, you definitely have the right to move residences – as long as that move doesn’t interfere with your child’s rights or best interests. Under California law, you must provide written notice of any plan to move away with your child for more than 30 days – and you have to send the notice at least 45 days before your proposed move. That way, you and your ex can work out a new custody or visitation agreement if necessary.
The non-moving parent can file an objection. He or she can ask the court to modify custody as a result of your move.
Your ex, like you, can file a notice with the intent to move. You can fight it, just like your ex could, by objecting with the court and asking the judge in your case to modify your custody agreement.
What Does the Court Consider When You Ask for Permission to Move Out of State With a Child?
The courts don’t take requests to move out of state lightly. That’s because judges are required to always put a child’s best interests first. However, if you must move out of state, that doesn’t mean you’re going to lose custody of your children. The courts will only change custody if the move will severely and negatively impact your kids. If one parent objects to the move, the court will schedule a hearing to determine whether a change in custody is warranted.
The court will consider several things in determining whether a change in custody is warranted and whether one parent can move out of state with a child, including:
- The child’s need for stability and continuity
- How far away the parent and child will be moving
- Whether a change in custody would cause any harm to any parties involved
- The child’s relationship with both parents
- The parents’ relationship with each other, including their ability to communicate and co-parent
- Whether a move would harm the child’s relationship with the other parent
- The custodial parent’s reasons for moving
- The child’s emotional, educational and physical needs, as well as how the move would impact them
- The child’s relationships within his or her present community and in the new location
- Any other factor the court deems relevant to the child’s best interests
Related: Parental alienation examples
What if the Judge Won’t Let You Take Your Children Out of State?
If the judge in your case rules that you can’t move your children out of state, you have a couple options. You can choose not to move, or you can move and allow the court to change your custody agreement. This is a serious matter – and for most people who want to move out of state (or who want to prevent an ex from moving out of state with the children), it makes sense to talk to an attorney.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About How to Get Permission to Move Out of State With a Child?
If you’re considering an out-of-state move, whether it’s for work or any other reason, we may be able to help you. Call us at (209) 546-6870 or get in touch with a Stockton divorce attorney online to schedule a consultation today.