The Basics of Move-Away Orders


Move-away orders are generally when the primary custodial parent wishes to move with their child(ren) outside of the city, county, state, or country where the child(ren) currently resides. Move-away cases are often fiercely litigated and incredibly complex, as each parent is fighting for what they believe is in their child’s best interest.


Can the Primary Custodial Parent Just Move-Away?


According to Family Code Section 7501, a parent entitled to the custody of a child (the primary custodial parent) has a right to change the residence of the child. However, this does not mean the parent can move with the child without a written agreement from the other parent (the non-custodial parent). As with all custody and visitation matters, the parent requesting the custodial order must show the move is in the child’s best interest and does not prejudice the rights or the welfare of the child moving.


If the non-custodial parent objects to the move-away, they must show that this move would not be in the child’s best interest and would be detrimental to the child. This could include frustrating the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child which prevents “frequent and continual contact” with said parent.


How the Court Determines the Children’s Best Interest for Move-Away Orders


To determine what is in the child’s best interest, the Court follows the factors from IRMO LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1072, including:


    1. The reason for the move,
    2. Distance of the move,
    3. Age of the child,
    4. Child’s relationship with both parents,
    5. Child’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement,
    6. The relationship between the parents,
    7. The wishes of the children if they are mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate,
    8. Extent to which the parents are currently sharing custody.


With so much on the line, it is imperative you have an experienced family law attorney help you navigate a move-away request. The attorneys at The Reape-Rickett Law Firm can advocate for you and your children’s best interests. Contact our offices today at (888) 851-1611 or visit our Contact Us page to consult with an experienced family law attorney.


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