Move Away with Children in California

In California, if a parent with primary physical custody of a child is planning to move away with the child, the non-moving parent may seek a modification of the custody arrangement. Here are the key points to consider when seeking a modification of custody based on a move with the children in California:

1. Change of Circumstance: The parent seeking the modification must demonstrate to the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances warranting a modification of the existing custody order. The proposed move by the custodial parent and its potential impact on the child’s well-being would be a key factor in establishing a change in circumstances.

2. Best Interest of the Child: The court will always prioritize the best interest of the child when making custody decisions. Factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the impact of the move on the child’s stability and continuity of care, the distance of the move, and the reasons for the move will be carefully considered.

For the “best interest of the child” the court looks at the factors set forth in the case of La Musga which is as follows:

• Child’s interest in the stability and continuity of the custody arrangement

• The primary parent’s proven ability to care for the child

• Significant change of circumstances indicating a change of

custody is in the best interest of the child

• Distance of the move

• Financial impact on the parents

• Age of the children

• Child’s relationship with parents

• Wishes of the child

• Parental relationship

• Reason for the move including good faith

• Extent to which parents are currently sharing custody

• Nonpayment of support by the stay behind parent

• Impact on mental stability of parents if relocation is permitted or denied

• Availability of special education and medical care facilities

• Level of parental animosity and past conduct as an indicator of the best future arrangement

3. Notice Requirements: The parent planning to move with the child is generally required to provide notice to the other parent within a certain timeframe before the move, as well as specific information about the proposed move, including the new address, contact information, and any proposed changes to the custody or visitation schedule.

4. Mediation and Court Proceedings: In California, parents are encouraged to first attempt to reach an agreement through mediation or negotiation. If an agreement cannot be reached, the non-moving parent may file a request with the court for a modification of custody, and a hearing will be scheduled to address the issue.

5. Legal Representation: It’s important for both parents to seek legal representation to navigate the complexities of modifying custody based on a move with the children. An experienced family law attorney can provide guidance and representation throughout the process. It’s important to note that family law matters, including custody modifications, can be complex and the specific details of each case can significantly impact the outcome. Therefore, it’s advisable to seek the guidance of a qualified family law attorney who can provide personalized advice based on the unique circumstances of your situation.

Contact Maryam Atighechi at if you are seeking a move away order from the Court.