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What To Do When Your Ex-Spouse Wants To Move Abroad With Your Child

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The life you and your spouse have during the divorce process may not be the same life you live post-divorce. People sometimes move to be closer to family, for a new job, or simply just to get a fresh start in life. In most cases, these moves still make child custody visitation possible. However, sometimes someone wants to move much further away. So, what can you do if your former spouse wants to move abroad with your child? It is important to remember that you do have options. For the purpose of this article, we will assume joint legal custody and orders that do not allow for the movement of one parent. These are fairly standard.

You Can Consent or Contest the Move

Your former spouse must inform you of their intention to move abroad with your child.  When they do, you can either consent to the move or contest it. Most parents want to spend as much time as possible with their child and if they move abroad, that will likely be much more difficult. As such, many parents object to the move when the other parent makes the proposal. Still, there are some instances in which parents consent to the move, such as when it will be beneficial for the child and the child wants to go.

Legal Permission is Necessary

Even if you agree to the move, it is important to modify the orders to be consistent with this move. Until the current child custody order is modified, the original one will still stand and moving with your child without a modification would be a violation of the order. If you object to the move, you will have a chance to argue your case as to why the move would be detrimental to your child. Parents who have sole custody are more likely to obtain permission from the court to move with the child, although parents who have shared custody may also win their case.

Factors the Court will Consider

When making decisions in any child custody dispute, a family law judge will only consider what is in the best interests of the child. There are numerous factors a court will consider when determining whether a move is in the child’s best interests. These include:

  • The reasoning given for the move
  • Whether the move holds certain opportunities for the child, such as cultural or educational opportunities
  • The relationship between each parent and the child
  • The stability of the child’s life and whether the move will negatively affect it
  • The distance of the move
  • Any current ties the child has with their community, including their school life, friends, and community activities
  • The preference of the child, when they are of a certain age and maturity

The family courts in California always presume that it is in a child’s best interests to maintain a healthy relationship with each parent. As such, a judge may deny the move or give the other parent full custody if the relationship is good enough to warrant it.

Our Child Custody Lawyer in Campbell Can Help with Your Case

If your former spouse wants to move with your child, it is important to speak to a lawyer that handles child custody cases. At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, our seasoned attorneys can advise on your case and help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Call us now at 408-688-9153 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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