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Can I stop my ex from moving away with my child?

Raising a child with someone to whom you are no longer married can be an enormous challenge. Over time, however, parents typically adjust and settle into a routine that allows for some peace and stability. That may not last long, though.

For instance, if one parent decides that he or she wants to move and take the children, a legal battle can erupt. If you are facing this situation and are fearful of your ex relocating with your child, you should understand that California laws are in place that allow parents to challenge a move, even if the other parent has primary physical custody.

Showing the move is not in the best interests of your child

You can file a motion to bar the move. This motion is typically a "mini-trial" on the issue. It is typically helpful to have the guidance of an attorney in these situations.

Challenging the relocation request

If you share joint physical custody of your children, using the legal process to dispute the move is slightly easier. The courts can block the move or they may grant a modification based on the details of the case.

Making adjustments to relocation and modifications

If a modification is granted and your ex moves with your child to a new state or country, understand that you can still maintain a meaningful relationship with your child, as devastated as you may be. You might negotiate longer visitation periods during summers or vacations, for example, or you might examine the options for virtual visitation. 

In any situation involving relocation and your children, the stakes can be quite high. As such, it is typically beneficial to work with an attorney whether you are challenging a move-away or figuring out how to modify a parenting plan to reflect relocation.

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Evans Family Law
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