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Zwierzchowski & Nguyen

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Experienced Child Relocation Attorneys (Move-Away)

At Zwierzchowski & Nguyen, our family law attorneys and Certified Mediators in Long Beach understand that a divorce or a post-divorce life with children can become increasingly complicated when one parent has decided to move to a different geographic location.

Whether it is for work, personal growth, or to be near supportive family members, divorced parents and couples who were never married alike must consider the best interests of their children before making significant lifestyle changes — like moving their kids away from their co-parent.

Before positioning your argument for or against moving away with the children — even one you believe is ironclad — contact our experienced family law attorneys to ensure you objectively understand your rights and those of the other parent.

Understanding the Big Picture of Moving Away with Your Children in Long Beach, CA

In California, your child custody agreement will dictate your and the children’s movements and will require the family court’s involvement to pursue something as complex as a lengthy move or even one in-state.

Although it is incredibly common for one parent to relocate with their children after dissolving their marriage or relationship with the other parent, the request is often met with resistance.

This is understandable because one parent is subjected to decreased parenting time, increased visitation concessions and costs, and the emotionally overwhelming prospect of no longer having their children nearby.

Our California courts focus on the importance of both parents being involved in their children’s lives, and if you have a custody agreement in place, the resistance may come in the form of a court hearing to determine if the move is in the child’s best interests.

If you are seeking a child relocation request, or are opposing the other parent’s application, you will need to partner with an experienced family law attorney in Los Angeles County who will outline your rights and build your case to pursue success through mediation or inside the courtroom.

What Does Your Custody Agreement Say About Your Right to Move Away with Your Children in Long Beach, CA?

In California, there are two different types of physical custody agreements, including primary physical custody and joint physical custody. Your unique agreement will dictate how your request to move is perceived by the other parent and the courts.

Here are a couple of things to consider.

If the other parent is not physically involved in the children’s lives or cannot be found and alerted to an impending move, you must first prove you have made every attempt to locate and notify the other parent before the court will approve your move.

However, if you have sole or primary legal custody of your child(ren), it may be possible to move without resistance unless the other parent can prove that doing so would harm the children. That decision will also depend on whether your primary designation is temporary or permanent.

If it is temporary, moving them away can be effectively challenged by the other parent because the custodial terms may change going forward.

What if Parents Share Joint Physical Custody of their Children? Can One Parent Move with the Kids in Long Beach, CA?

When both parents share custody of the children, the parent who wants to move the children must prove that doing so is in their best interests.

Current parenting schedules and plans will play a large part in the judge’s decision to approve the move.

When both parents have significant roles in their children’s lives, moving the kids away from the other parent is going to be challenging but not impossible. Depending on the reason for the move, our Los Angeles County family law attorney can make a compelling argument that your livelihood and that of the children will thrive in your new location.

What Does the Court Consider During a California Child Relocation Hearing in Long Beach, CA?

If the custodial parent seeks to move their children a significant distance, the other parent must agree to the relocation request.

A significant move can be approved or denied by the California court based on the evidence providing during the hearing, which is why it is important to partner with an experienced child custody lawyer to ensure a strong case is presented on your behalf.

The California courts will consider the:

  • The distance of the proposed move
  • Custodial parent’s reasons for moving
  • Child’s relationship with both parents
  • Any harm that would result from a change in custody

Both parents — those requesting the move and those opposing it — will need to present evidence to prove why the child(ren) should move with them or be ordered to stay behind.

Evidence that can be presented during your case may include:

  • Documents
  • Witnesses
  • Proof of career improvement, which may include a promotion or significant raise
  • Extenuating circumstances that require a move to be closer to resources that benefit the children, which may include:
    • Family
    • Physicians
    • Educational opportunities

If you are the parent who is requesting the move, it is important to show good faith in proposing the relocation while providing a realistic approach to allowing the other parent access to the children, which may include a revised visitation schedule and agreement.

You should also solidify your commitment to nurturing an ongoing relationship between the non-custodial parent and the children, so their connection remains intact between visits.

Technology can improve a long-distance relationship through phone calls, text and video messaging, and social media updates that allow the kids’ photos and experiences to be shared regularly in between physical visits.

Can My California Move Away Request Be Denied in Long Beach, CA?

To keep you from moving your children, the other parent must fully demonstrate that the change in location would significantly harm the children’s best interests and their custody rights.

It is no secret that highly contentious marital relationships continue long after the divorce is over, which — if true for you — may jeopardize your ability to move with your children.

If you know your ex-spouse or partner is going to fight you on the move, ensure your California child relocation attorney knows that upfront, so we can build your case accordingly.

Conversely, if you and the other parent can agree on the custody relocation on your own, you can avoid involving the courts in your decision, either through private discussions or mediation.

Our experienced Long Beach family law attorney will help finalize the agreement, so it is legally binding and enforceable going forward.

What Happens After the Court Approves My Child Relocation Request?

Several factors must be established if the California family court approves your child’s relocation request before the move can be finalized, including a new visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent.

Often during relocation approvals, the visitation days for the non-custodial parent will be extended to include holidays, summers, and school breaks now that travel will be a factor in the time spent with the other parent. This can take some time to solidify but can be easily managed with the help of an accomplished attorney.

Contact our experienced child relocation attorneys in Long Beach, California for a free consultation at (562-426-6522).

Contact our experienced family law attorney and Certified Family Mediator at Zwierzchowski & Nguyen today by calling 562-359-2106 to learn more about your legal rights and options, so you can make informed decisions about where your children live going forward.