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A very, very common event in post-judgment custody matters involves one of the parents who have custody of the children, wanting to relocate outside of the immediate area where the other parent is living. These are sometimes called move-away cases or relocation cases.
And when someone comes to me and asks me “I’ve got custody and I’d like to move to Northern California. For instance, I live in Los Angeles County or Ventura County and I want to move to San Francisco County or I want to move to Arizona or New York; can I do it?” The answer is, yes you can, but the answer is not so simple for your children. If the other side says no, if the other parent says “I absolutely will not allow that,” then an analysis is going to be undertaken by the court to determine what is best for the children. Is it best for the children to move with the custodial parent, which will obviously lessen the time they spend with the other parent, or is it not best for them? That is the analysis that the court undertakes. So if the other parent says no the only option is to give notice, and if no objection is made you may be allowed to leave. Or, if you want to be abundantly more cautious you ask, if the other parent says no, you should seek (if you can afford it) an experienced relocation attorney, child custody attorney, family law attorney, go into the court that made the original orders, and ask for permission to leave with the children.