Some of the most difficult cases for judges are when one parent wants to move out of state and take their children with them while the other stays in California.
There are many competing interests to take into account.
Courts have to balance the benefits of moving vs. consistency and stability
As a rule, courts must always decide custody issues based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the children. But nearly all courts will say that stability and consistency are very important for children, especially if they are young.
They don’t want to cause big, sudden changes in a child’s life. If a child has become accustomed to a certain arrangement, judges often want to maintain that.
But what happens if one parent wants to move away and has sole custody? If the court lets the moving parent take the children with them, they will have a much harder time seeing the parent who stayed in California.
On the other hand, if the moving parent is denied the right to take the children with them, it could prevent them from moving altogether or the children may suddenly go from living with one parent to living with the other – another significant change. This dilemma is at the heart of these cases.
Courts will consider a lot of information when deciding a relocation request
The analysis starts with who has custody, and whether it is jointly shared or one parent has sole or primary custody. Courts will also take a close look at how involved each parent is in the lives of their children. They will usually consider several other factors, including:
- the age of the children
- where they have lived in the past
- why the moving parent wants to move
- how strongly the other parent opposes the children moving
- potential benefits to the children of moving
- what arrangements can be made if the children stay
What the children want could matter
Courts can (but don’t always) consider what the children say they want for themselves. Usually this becomes more important the older the children are. If they are only five or six years old, a judge may not consider their opinion at all. But if they are teenagers or closer to adulthood, a child’s opinion can have a much bigger impact.
Don’t go at it alone!
Parental relocation cases can be difficult to resolve, contentious and based on a wide range of information. If you want to move out-of-state or want to fight to keep your children in California, we highly recommend you contact us for a free consultation today.
“Ben always walked into court very confident and his overall demeanor would put me at ease.”
Benjamin is a great and professional attorney. He always took the time to answer all my questions and concerns… even if it meant keeping him on the phone for a long time on his busy schedule. He took care of my custody case which was a bit complicated given that my child’s father lives overseas and many issues to be covered arise with such case. Ben always walked into court very confident which was a huge plus for me. His overall demeanor would put me at ease.
There are a couple of things which I was not happy 100% with the ruling of my case, but most were dependent on the judge we were assigned; Issues in which Benjamin indeed tried his best by presenting good facts and arguments to the court.
Overall, if you want an honest, professional, and good attorney, then I definitely recommend Ben.