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Orange County Move Away Lawyer

Orange County Move Away Lawyer

Orange County Move Away Attorney

There are several reasons an Orange County, CA parent with primary custody may need or want to move. It may allow them to provide better opportunities for their children or be closer to family. However, a parent separated from their co-parent who wants to move with their children needs to follow certain guidelines. They must inform their co-parent of the move within a certain timeframe. If their co-parent doesn’t agree to the move, the parent needs to get permission from the court.

Although this is a fairly common issue, it can be incredibly complex for families. Even when a custodial parent is making a move in the child’s interests, it can still be upsetting to the non-custodial parent, who may have less time with their children. A relocation may also impact a parenting plan. If you are initiating or contesting a relocation request, an attorney can ensure that you take the right steps.

Orange County Move Away Lawyer

Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP: Your Move Away and Relocation Attorneys

The court holds a child’s interests as a priority when deciding custody, visitation, parenting plans, and relocation. At Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, we have more than 40 years of experience in family law, and we know how emotionally difficult this situation can be for many parents.

If you and your co-parent don’t agree on relocation for your children, we can help you advocate your point of view. You can file a request or contest relocation in court, and our attorneys can help you navigate that process. We use our experience and understanding of California family law to fight for the most beneficial outcome. It’s important to us that we protect your family’s future and well-being.

California Law for Primary Custodial Parents Who File to Relocate

It’s most common that a relocation request is filed by the parent with primary physical custody. The court generally allows this relocation unless the other parent can show that it is not in the child’s interests. A custodial parent can usually change where a child lives, provided the following are true:

  • The relocation does not interfere with current custody and visitation orders.
  • The parent has let the other parent know the change is going to happen.

If the non-custodial parent doesn’t agree to relocation, then they must contest the request in court. If the move is far enough away, it will impact a parenting plan and may not be in a child’s interests. The court will deny the relocation request if it determines the move will:

  • Negatively impact the child’s health and welfare
  • Violate the child’s rights

The court may deny a relocation, or the co-parent may contest the request to relocate.

California Law for Joint Custodial Parents and Relocation

If parents have joint physical custody, both parents have the same rights to decide where children live. One parent who has joint physical custody is not allowed to relocate with their children unless they can prove relocation is in the child’s interests.

Relocation When There Is No Custody Order

If no custody order has been created when one parent wishes to relocate, the court decides whether to allow the children to move based only on the child’s interests and not any custody orders. A parent who wants to move with their children, but does not have custody, has to petition for a modification of the current order or initial custody determination. Modifying an existing court order, like child custody, can be difficult because there likely need to have been significant changes since the initial order. Otherwise, the initial court order is likely still in the child’s interests, and the court will prefer stability in a child’s life.

Factors the Court Considers in a Relocation and Move Away Case

Even a move that a parent may consider a short distance has the potential to be an issue. If you’re unsure whether your move warrants a move away notice or request, you want to speak with an attorney experienced in family law.

The court looks at several factors when determining if a relocation request is granted. These factors include:

  • The Distance of the Move: A long-distance or out-of-state move can make following an existing custody or visitation arrangement difficult and expensive.
  • A Child’s Stability: Generally, the court assumes a consistent custody agreement is more in a child’s interests than one that changes frequently.
  • The Child’s Age: This includes how a move is expected to impact a child of that age, and an older child may be asked how they feel and what they wish to do.
  • The Relationship Between the Child and Parents: If a child doesn’t have a good relationship with their non-custodial parent, a move with their custodial parent may be in their interests.
  • The Child’s Needs: The court will determine if those needs can be met in the proposed relocation.
  • The Relationship Between Parents: The court will consider how the parents communicate and co-parent together and how each follows the court orders. The court also determines each parent’s ability to put their child’s interests and needs first.
  • Why the Parent Is Relocating: The court will look at the moving parent’s reason for relocation and determine if that reason is in good faith.
  • Support Systems: The new location could make it easier or harder for a child to connect with support systems.

Relocation cases are each unique to their family and the family’s needs. It’s important to understand how California family law impacts your unique situation. You can approach your case with more confidence with the legal counsel of an attorney.

How Can an Orange County Relocation and Move Away Attorney Help Me?

Many parents decide to relocate to provide their children with a better life. Unfortunately, there are some parents who want to move with their children out of spite toward their co-parent. Similarly, a parent may contest a move away request out of a legitimate worry about seeing their children, while others may object with the intent to harm their co-parent. If you are dealing with a relocation or move away request in court, an attorney is your greatest chance at having your point of view acknowledged and considered by the court.

Your relocation case is dependent on your incredibly unique situation. You need a legal professional who can understand you and your family’s needs and then effectively apply their understanding of family and custody law to your circumstances. Relocation cases can be incredibly stressful for parents who disagree on their child’s interests. An attorney can help you navigate the process and lessen your stress by walking you through your legal options and likely outcomes.

Relocation Lawyers FAQs

Q: What Is the Law for Move Away Cases in California?

A: Many court orders for custody and visitation include how relocation should be handled. This may include giving your co-parent a certain number of days’ notice about your plans or providing you with a set distance you can move without a co-parent’s express agreement. You can also discuss the specifics of your situation with an attorney to determine how the California family court may view your case.

Q: How Do I Fight a Move Away Order in California?

A: You can contest the relocation of your co-parent and children in family court. You can file a motion with the help of a move-away and relocation attorney to prove that the move is not in your child’s interests. If you have a joint custody arrangement, you and your co-parent have the same rights to spend time with children, and your co-parent must prove that the move is beneficial. If your co-parent has sole custody, the court will likely deny the relocation if it negatively impacts your child or violates their rights.

Q: How Far Can I Move With Joint Custody in California?

A: There is not an exact limit in California to how far a parent can move without placing a relocation request. Many child custody agreements set a limit of 45 to 50 miles before you need to have express written agreement from your co-parent, though this varies based on the agreement. A relocation is generally fine if your co-parent is provided sufficient notice and the move does not affect a custody and visitation agreement. If a relocation request has to be filed, a parent with joint custody must prove that moving is in their child’s interests.

Q: What Happens When a Non-Custodial Parent Moves Away in California?

A: A non-custodial parent can move to a new location whenever, but not with a child. If a non-custodial parent wants to move, the child will remain in the custody of the other parent. In some situations, a custody and visitation order prevents a non-custodial parent from crossing state lines with their child. This is usually only a provision if the parent has disobeyed family court orders previously.

Contact Our Orange County Relocation and Move Away Attorneys Today

Relocation in California can be complex. If you are planning a move that could modify a current court order, you want to ensure the process is done correctly. Our attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, have more than 40 years of combined experience working in family law. We understand the court system and how relocation law relates to your family’s needs. Contact our team today.

Practice Areas

Family Law


domestic violence

Cohabitation Agreements

Postnuptial Agreement


Marital Dissolution

Legal Separation

Child Custody Visitation

child Support Modification

spousal Support Modification

Restraining Orders

Division of Assets

Work Place Protective Orders

Custody of Children with Special Needs


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