August 14, 2013 By Paul Wallin

Whether you are a custodial parent seeking to relocate with your child or a non-custodial parent seeking to prevent a move-away order, move-away cases are among some of the most complex family law matters. Regardless of the distance of the relocation, move-away cases involve the use of multiple legal standards, as well as several steps in the evaluation process. Move-away cases should not be handled without the knowledge and expertise of an experienced Orange County child custody attorney. The Orange County child custody attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the knowledge and expertise required to handle move-away cases and can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Move Away Orders Orange County

Move Away Orders in Orange County
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you file move away orders in Orange County.

California Family Code Section 7501 states that “a parent with primary physical custody of their 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.” However, the primary custodial parent cannot just change the residence of the child without the consent of the other parent or an order from the family law courts. In recent years, the California Supreme Court has made the process for obtaining move-away orders increasingly difficult.

After a petition to request a move away is filed with the court and the reasons for the move-away request are indicated in the petition, the other parent must be able to show that the move will be detrimental to their child in order to challenge the move-away order. Perhaps the most common evidence that a move is detrimental to the child is that the move will frustrate the relationship between the non-moving parent and the child. This causes detriment to the child since the child will no longer have “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents.

If the non-moving parent is able to show that the move will be detrimental to the child, the non-moving parent may then request a change of the current custodial arrangement. In order to modify the existing custody orders, the non-moving parent will have to show that a change in custody is in the best interest of the child.

Modified Best Interest of the Child Standard

In considering what is in the best interest of your child, the family law court will generally rely on the factors listed in California Family Code Section 3011. However, the case of In re Marriage of LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1072, altered the best interest standard that the court uses in move-away cases. If you are requesting or opposing a move-away order, the family law court will evaluate the following factors:

  1. The distance of the proposed move;
  2. The age of your child;
  3. Your child’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement;
  4. Your child’s relationship with both parents;
  5. The relationship between you and the other parent;
    • Your ability to communicate and cooperate effectively; AND
    • Your willingness to put the interests of your child ahead of your own
  6. The wishes of your child if they are mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate;
  7. The reasons for the proposed move; AND
  8. The extent to which you and the other parent are sharing custody.

While the court will evaluate the above factors in your move-away case, the court in LaMusga also noted that the family law court should be very cautious when approving a move-away request. If the move-away request will disrupt the stability and continuity of an already existing custodial arrangement, it will become less likely that the family law court will grant a move-away request. An experienced Orange County child custody attorney at Wallin & Klarich will be able to provide guidance as to the likelihood that the move-away request will be granted in your case.

Orange County Move Away Attorney

Whether you are requesting or objecting to a move-away order, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich Orange County child custody attorney. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in successfully handling move-away cases. We possess the knowledge of the law and attention to detail to help you to obtain a favorable result. With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Victorville and Ventura, we are always available, wherever you happen to live.

Call us today at 888-749-7428. We will be there when you call.

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