Can My Ex Move Out Of State With My Child?

When a family splits up, it’s common for the exes to go their separate ways.

Often it means wanting to move to another county, state, or even country.

Sometimes it’s to work at a better job. Other times it’s a way to heal and start life over. Or maybe you or your ex found someone else, the right person this time, and need to move far away to live together.

The trouble starts when a child is caught in the middle.

Courts prefer both parents to be present and part of the child’s life. The courts do not want to uproot a child and keep him or her away from a parent.

They see this as disruptive and prefer a stable and continuous custody arrangement for the child.

This situation makes it difficult for either ex to move far away with the child, but is especially difficult on the parent with primary custody who wants to leave.

California Family Code Section 7501 does not restrict the parent with primary custody from moving and changing the child’s permanent residence.

However, the other parent has to agree to the move.

Often times, parents can agree to terms on their own. Or, for the lucky few with money, flying cross-country is not a burden.

In these cases, moving far apart and still spend time with the child tends to work itself out.

For everyone else, trying to relocate with a child can be a huge burden and nightmare. For this reason it’s important to work with knowledgeable Bakersfield attorneys who specialize in ‘Move-Away Relocation Requests’ like those you find at Azemika & Azemika.

If you have sole custody and want to move, then your ex has to show that the move will be bad for your child.

There are exceptions to the rule, in which case working with an attorney would be in your best interest.

You are the primary custodial parent:

You want to move out of state with your child. Your ex says no. If you can’t work out an agreement… You have to go to family court and get a move away order that allows you to move with your child. You have to prove that moving with your child is in your child’s best interest. But courts already lean to deny move-away requests believing it prejudices the child’s rights or welfare.

In the celebrity case with actress Halle Berry, despite her financial resources, she couldn’t get an order allowing her to move her child to France.

You the non-primary custodial parent:

Your ex wants to move away with your child. If you don’t agree and can’t work anything out You need to file a stay order to deny the move. If your ex pushes the issue, you may have to prove that your child is better off not moving.

In some cases, the court will automatically assume that the primary custody asking for a move away order is going to move even if the order is denied.

So in a number of twisted court cases, when the primary custody parent got denied, the court then changed the custody arrangement giving sole custody to the other parent!

Yes this is confusing and could become a nasty surprise to both parents. So beware.

The best course of action is to work with Kern County family law attorneys experienced in move away and stay orders, as well as the ins and outs of child custody. Call our office: (661) 322-8166.

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