Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

When a parent tries to move a child out of state or far away within state, it can trigger litigation which is heart- and gut-wrenching for all involved.  There are several rules that child custody attorneys and courts look to when evaluating a parent’s attempt to relocate a child’s residence where the result will be a drastic reduction in the child’s time with the non-moving parent.

First, a custodial parent has a presumptive right to move.  California Family Code Section 7501 typically favors a custodial parent’s right to relocate with his or her child:

A parent entitled to the custody of a 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.

This statute is very broadly worded.  What is a “parent entitled to custody of a child”?  Which “rights or welfare” would be prejudiced so that the Court could “restrain a move”?  Would the Court look at a non-moving parent differently if the child spent 20% of the time with the parent versus 40% of the time with the parent?

Does a non-moving parent have rights?  Of course.  Depending on the non-moving parent’s level of custody, that parent would be entitled to 1) a meaningful mediation, 2) an evaluation, and 3) a hearing – before such a move could be ordered.  During this process, the following factors may be examined depending on the circumstances:

Factors for Child Custody & Out-of-State Relocation in Agoura Hills

  • What is the child’s relationship with both parents?
  • What relationship do the parents share – are they able to work together or not?
  • Where is the intended relocation – how far is it?
  • What harm may be caused by a change in custody, or what harm may be caused to the child’s relationship with the parent who is not moving?
  • What harm may the relocation do to the child’s emotional, physical, and educational needs, or how would the move improve the latter?
  • To what extent does the child need continuity and stability?
  • Is there extended family is either the current location or the new location?
  • What is the reason for the relocation?

It is important to remember that each case is unique and so some of the above factors may not apply while other factors not listed may apply. The court will review the request in its entirety as opposed to considering only the parent’s reason for the request to relocate.

Jeffrey L. Hoffer is a Certified Family Law Specialist.  He helps his clients understand how custody works and what the court factors into it when making a decision. If you want to move out of California and still have custody of your child (or want to contest a relocation), there are some things to consider. If you still have questions, contact Hoffer Family Law Firm to learn more.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer to Discuss Child Relocation in Agoura Hills

Child relocation cases in Agoura Hills can get complicated pretty quickly, especially when the non-moving parent wants to contest the custodial parent’s wish to move out of California with their child(ren). Whether you are the parent who wants to relocate or the parent who objects to the relocation, this is not the type of family law matter you should handle on your own.

At Hoffer Family Law Firm, we have a team of committed, compassionate, and passionate legal staff who know the law, the courts, and what’s in the best interests of the child. Contact our law office to learn more about our approach to child custody and relocation. We want what’s best for your child as much as we want what’s best for you, and if that’s relocation, we will help you get the approval by a family law court.

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Hoffer Family Law Firm

Hoffer Family Law Firm

As you know, we are now living in uncertain times.  Our society has shifted in ways that were completely unexpected 3-6 months ago.   As a result, our priorities and actions need to shift as well.  Remember, we cannot control the wind, but we can always adjust our sails.   The Courts here in Southern California are closed for the foreseeable future.  The Los Angeles County courts are taking filings and are hearing emergency matters.  The Ventura County Courts are hearing emergency matters but are not taking filings at all.   Currently, both court systems are scheduled to re-open in mid-May; however, given the current state of affairs, it is likely that the closures will be extended. 

So, how do we adjust our sails?   We set you up for success for when the Courts re-open, your case will be ready to go. 

1.  Video Consultations:  All you need is a phone, an iPad, or a computer with a webcam and a microphone and we can have a video consultation.    Please click here to schedule. 

2. For Divorce Cases:   For existing cases in Ventura County, we can prepare your disclosures, create a discovery plan and ready your case for when the court opens again.  For Los Angeles County, we can file your Petition and related documents, prepare your disclosures, create a discovery plan and ready your case for when the court opens again. 

My Advice to you! 

3. Be physically and emotionally healthy!   There is a lot of humor circulating about how people are gaining weight and getting drunk during this period.   Don’t give in to that.  This is the time to take stock and improve on those things you always wanted.  It means reading that book you wanted to read.  It means taking that online course you always meant to take.  It means gaining that skill that you didn’t have time for.   It also means not letting your divorce case sit unattended.  There is always work to be done.  Let us handle it for you. Take this period of time to be proactive! 

  Thanks for taking the time to drop by. 

Jeffrey L. Hoffer

Certified Family Law Specialist – located in Agoura Hills, CA.