Move-Away Requests

In San Diego, many parents consider relocating outside of San Diego County, California or even the United States. Before making such an important decision, parents must consider whether they will be permitted to move their child with them. One standard provision in a permanent San Diego County child custody and visitation order is that neither parent is permitted to change the residence of the child outside of San Diego County unless he or she has the written consent of the other parent or an additional court order.

San Diego courts see a particularly high number of move-away requests due to the large military presence in the area. Often a parent or his or her spouse is ordered to relocate to another state. In these cases, the judge must decide whether the child should remain with the non-custodial parent or move out of state with the custodial parent.

Generally, in additional to various popular cases, family courts will consider a number of factors in determining whether a parent will be permitted to move away with a child. Mostly this analysis mirrors the “best interest of the child” analysis that determines the outcome of any other custody and visitation order. These factors include:

  1. The child’s interest in stability considering the current custody arrangement;
  2. The distance of the proposed move;
  3. The financial impact the move could have on both parents;
  4. The age of the child;
  5. The current relationship between the child and both parents;
  6. The co-parenting relationship between both parents;
  7. Depending on the age of the child, the child’s wishes;
  8. The availability of any special accommodations the child needs;
  9. The reasons for the proposed move; and
  10. Any other factors that the court deems relevant.

Under the California Family Code section 7501, “a parent entitled to custody of a child has a right to change the residence of the child, subject to the power of the court to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.” The custodial parent bears no burden to prove that the move is “necessary” in any way.

At the onset of a move-away case it is important to consider any current child custody and visitation orders. In essence, a move-away request is a request to modify the current court orders. If a current court order is in place and you do not have written agreement with the other parent to move you, must ask the court for permission to move with your child.

If you are considering moving out of San Diego and would like to move your child with you, the Law Offices of Nancy J. Bickford will work with you through the process to find the solution that is in the best interest of your child. Our team of experienced attorneys is prepared work zealously to provide you the legal representation that you need. If you wish to schedule a consultation with Nancy J. Bickford, contact us at (858) 793-8884.