Divorce is hard on the entire family. Not only does it break the family apart, but it disrupts each member’s mental, emotional, and financial stability. There are different ways of coping with legal separation or divorce, and some ex-spouses decide to move away. It is a common way people react after divorce. The process can be depressing, and by moving away from the bad memories, an individual may believe that it will be easier to start fresh.
Moving away is not an easy decision, and things get extremely complicated when a divorced couple has children to consider. When a parent decides to move away with the child, the other parent may object as it will affect the visitation schedule set by the Court. See California Family Code section 7501.
Move-away child custody cases are the most challenging cases the Family Law Court must handle. It is not just overwhelming for the family but even for the Judge who must give the final decision, which may keep one parent away from their child because the court cannot prevent a parent from moving.
Factors of Consideration in Move-Away Cases
When the judge is considering a move-away case, the judge must assume that the moving parent is going to move; thus, there are factors the judge must consider when making the decision. A wrong decision may ruin a child’s future, and that is why the Family Law Judge needs to be extra cautious. The factors that play an important role in move-away cases were established in the landmark case In re Marriage of LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1072, which include:
The Reason for the proposed move
The first factor that plays a significant role is the reasoning from the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent who petitioned for permission to move away with the child is not required to provide any reasons as to why the move is in the best interest of the child. The California Family Court does not expect any justification from the moving away parent. However, the non-custodial parent that is opposing the move must provide reasons as to why the move would be detrimental to the child.
Therefore, you must contact a professional attorney who will help you strengthen your case.
The Age of Child
The age of the child is another factor for a move-away child custody case. A young child may not take the idea of moving away from one of their parents very well. It affects their mental health and may not prove beneficial.
Distance and time of the move are also essential to consider. The Court looks into the matter and analyzes whether the move is posing any prohibitive hardships for the non-custodial parent’s ability to spend time with their child. If the move has the potential to impact the other parent’s time with their child negatively, the Court will not allow it.
The most important factor in the case of the custodial parent moving away is the wishes of the child. When the child is mature enough to express what they are feeling, the Court will attach the value to what the child wants.
The relationship between parents with each other and the relationship of each of them with the child plays a significant role in the move-away cases. The Court will look into the history of how collaborative the parents have been in co-parenting, the behavior of parents, and how they have treated each other in the past years helps the Court reach a decision. The Court needs to find out if the custodial parent is moving away on purpose to hinder the visitation schedule of the non-custodial parent.
Want to stop your ex-spouse from moving away with your child? Or are you planning to move away with your child? Contact the Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC, for a 30-minute-free consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or texting (858)880-6689 today!