A move-away, or relocation, case is when one parent, usually a parent with primary physical custody, seeks to move their child to a new residence located outside of their current city, county, state, or country. Regardless of the distance of the planned relocation, move-away cases are among the most complex of all family law cases. You should not engage in a move-away case without the guidance of an experienced move-away attorney.
Under California Family Code Section 7501, a parent with primary physical custody of their child has a right to change the residence of the child. However, you cannot change the residence of your child without an agreement with the child’s other parent, or the order of a family law court. In recent years, the California Supreme Court has given judges in family courts wide discretion to deny move-away requests if the relocation would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child. Thus, Section 7501, along with recent California Supreme Court decisions, makes it very difficult for a custodial parent to move away with their child.
It is important to note that each move-away case is decided on a case-by-case basis. This means that many factors will be considered in deciding whether a move-away order will be granted in your case. The outcome of your case will depend on the facts of your case, as well as the judge that your case is assigned. Thus, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced move-away attorney who knows the law and has experience in the courthouse where your case is located.