Can you leave the area with your kids after the divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Divorce

When you share children, even if you try to divorce quickly, the process will typically take at least six months, sometimes longer. Finalizing your divorce and putting a custody order in place will add crucial structure to your relationship with the other parent of your children. You will finally be able to start healing and rebuilding your life.

The structure of your parenting plan helps protect your relationship with your children and can also give you time when you can handle your own needs while the children are with their other parent. However, that structure could also limit your opportunities in the upcoming years. You won’t be free to simply move when the opportunity arises.

In fact, you may feel limited by your shared custody arrangements and worry about your future. Maybe you start to fall in love with someone that you know from college who currently lives in New Mexico, or perhaps you have family in Washington and start feeling like it might make sense to go back home again. Is it possible for you to leave California when you share custody of your children with their other parent?

Relocations will typically affect custody orders

Any move-away situation can force an update of your existing custody order. If the move will have any significant impact on your ex’s ability to spend time with the children, then it will likely require both their approval and the review by the courts.

When your ex is not supportive of your request to relocate, you may need to have a hearing in the family courts. Relocations out of state or a significant difference away within California can lead to questions about whether the move will be best for the children.

A judge will look at your family circumstances and the reason behind the move to decide whether to grant your request for a move-away modification to your parenting plan or side with your ex who claims that the move would not be in the best interest of the children. A judge might you the right to move while reducing your time with the children, or they might agree that the children can move with you.

The more proof you have that the relocation will be beneficial for the children, the better your chances of convincing the courts to modify the parenting plan to allow them to move with you. Learning more about what happens in move-away or relocation scenarios can help those managing shared custody arrangements in California.