Parental Relocation

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Parental Relocation in Newport Beach

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Parents sharing custody of their children sometimes find the unexpected occurs and the other parent wants or needs to relocate or move away-often to a distant location. It is a difficult dilemma that the Court is seeing more and more of because of the economy as people are moving often to find better or keep employment.

You may find yourself in this situation. Either being the parent that feels for the "greatest good" you must leave. Or being the parent who is facing this situation with an ex-spouse who agreed earlier not to relocate, but whose situation has changed and they are now petitioning the Court for approval.

Understanding California Relocation Laws

In California Family Code section 7501 it states, "a parent is entitled to the 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." Although, it would appear to be a clear and straightforward statute, the interpretation of that law in California has been subject to many diverse and even contradictory appellate decisions, over the last decade.

Some courts created tests for move away cases to guide the trial courts in making a determination, in other cases some other Courts simply held the custodial parent was presumptively entitled to relocate. Then in other cases, the issue regarding the "removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child" has been strenuously argued and making it necessary for the parent wishing to leave to have to "prove" the move was necessary, expedient, essential or imperative.

Notice of Intent

In cases where joint child custody is in place, where the child has spent significant time with both parents an exception can be raised. One Court case held that where there is a shared custody relationship the Court would have to make a new determination regarding custody based on the best interests of the child. In the state of California, one parent must give 45 days' notice of their intent to relocate to the other parent and the court for approval.

If you are facing a situation where you either need to relocate with your children or you want to prevent the relocation of your child, it is well advised, to contact an Newport Beach family lawyer who is well-versed in the wide ranging complexities of parental relocation. To try to navigate these waters without a well-educated Newport Beach family law attorney in this field, you may be putting yourself at a great disadvantage.

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