Before Moving Children Out of State During or After a Divorce, Be Aware of the Following


moving child out of state after divorce

After separating from your former spouse, you’re ready for a fresh start. Unfortunately, moving out of state after a divorce isn’t always straightforward: Your former spouse may have abandoned the right to intervene in your personal life, but they can still affect the choices you make about the child (or children) you share.

Can you move out of state after a divorce? Here’s a quick look at the laws surrounding these tricky situations and which choices might be best for your family.

Moving Out of State After Divorce

California’s laws and family courts work carefully to create situations that protect children, each parent’s bond with their child and the child’s best interests.  If you have shared custody with the other parent, then these issues will be reviewed with any request to move a minor child out of San Diego County. 

Move Away Cases Aren’t Special

When a parent wants to change their existing custody and visitation arrangements to move out of San Diego County or the State of California, they typically have to seek formal permission. Regardless of whether you’re moving from Point Loma, Del Mar, or elsewhere in San Diego County, in order to move a child outside of San Diego County, you will likely need to modify your existing orders with the agreement of your former spouse or approval of the court.

moving out of state with child after divorceWhile there is typically no bar to moving within San Diego County if you have joint physical custody, doing so without the agreement of your former spouse or with permission of the Court can raise immediate litigation, particularly if the move results in a change of school. 

Other Considerations

San Diego County family courts look at a wide range of considerations when deciding how to respond to modification requests and move-away requests. The final decision will be based on a review of several factors including, but not limited to, the following:

  • A child’s age
  • Ties to community 
  • Family, education 
  • The co-parenting relationship 
  • Consideration of which parent will most likely foster a positive relationship with the child and the other parent.   

Don’t assume that things will play out a certain way, and keep in mind, move-away requests can result in one party getting sole physical custody.  If you lose your request to move, then you may lose custody. A move-away request should not be entered lightly and if you do need court permission, a request to move may take a significant amount of time to work its way through the court system. Do not expect a court to grant a move in a few months.

can you move out of state after divorceWhat Can I Do to Stop My Ex From Moving Our Child Out of State?

Not all motivations for relocating a minor are equally valid. For instance, if you can prove that they’re only moving to keep you away from your child, then you can ask the court to halt their plans. Such proceedings may even generate vital evidence for parents who seek post-judgment modifications.   Unless your Judgment provides otherwise, a parent typically cannot move a child without a parent’s agreement or an order of the Court. Once you are advised a parent intends to move and you do not agree, you should immediately seek orders from the Court restraining a move until heard by the Court. 

What Can I Expect During My Move Away Case?

If you recall nothing else about moving a child out of state after a divorce, remember that these are complex, involved cases — They take time to work their way through the system, and even after receiving a favorable judgment, parents still need to wait 30 days before actually moving with children out of the State of California.

Choose Neumann Family Law, APC

Whether you’re making a big move or trying to stop one, working with a dedicated, knowledgeable legal team who has extensive experience with move away cases is the best way to protect your family. Leverage 75 years of collective legal experience to navigate the system with enhanced confidence. Chat with a compassionate legal team member at Neumann Family Law, APC by calling (619) 363-5906 to set up a complimentary telephone consultation.

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