Roseline D. Feral

Child Relocation

Family Law Attorney Protecting the Custody Rights of San Diego Residents

When two people divorce or separate, it is not uncommon for one person to move to a different city or even a different state. Whether you are seeking to relocate out of the area with your child, or you want to prevent the relocation of your child, we can help. With nearly 30 years of experience, Roseline D. Feral is a seasoned child custody lawyer who understands how to handle relocation issues in California. She has extensive experience helping families who need a San Diego child relocation lawyer to guide them through the custody modification process.

Requirements for Child Relocation

A relocation or move-away case is when one parent, typically the parent with primary physical custody, seeks to move a child to a new place. California prioritizes the “best interest” of the child in all parenting decisions, including relocation. The best interest standard gives a court broad discretion to consider any factor that may be relevant to the child’s overall health, safety, and well-being, including:

  • The child’s age;
  • The child’s relationship to each parent;
  • Who has been the primary parent;
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child;
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse by either parent;
  • The child’s wishes;
  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community; and
  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to co-parent.

Relocation may be simple if both parents agree. However, it may be contentious and difficult if the parents disagree. Under California Family Code Section 7501, a parent with primary physical custody has the right to relocate a child as long as there is an agreement with the child’s other parent. As with any other custody issue, the parents are free to come up with any relocation arrangement on which they both agree. However, if the parents cannot agree, the court will decide for them. At this stage, the advocacy of a child relocation attorney can help San Diego residents make sure that their voice is heard.

If a parent wishes to obtain a move-away order through the court, that parent must file paperwork indicating the reasons for the move and why the move would be in the best interest of the child. A parent should not assume that relocation will automatically be approved because, as previously mentioned, the move may be in the best interest of the parent’s life, but the judge is only concerned about what is in the best interest of the child. Therefore, relocation may be permitted even if it affects the non-custodial parent’s visitation. If the court decides that relocation is appropriate in a given case, that finding will be reflected in a new order of the family law court.

A non-custodial parent who opposes the relocation is not without recourse. That parent may ask the court to re-evaluate the original custody order, based on a change in circumstances. A California court has held that modifying a child custody order in a relocation case may be considered when the material changes in facts and circumstances are of a type that makes a modification essential for the well-being of the child. The non-custodial parent may also claim that the relocation would “prejudice” the welfare of the child. To make such a determination, the court would go back to assessing the situation based on the best interest of the child.

These cases may be complex, and it is important to note that each relocation case is different and will be decided according to the specific circumstances of that case.

Contact a Child Relocation Lawyer in the San Diego Area

If you want to relocate with your child, family law attorney Roseline D. Feral can help you file an application for relocation with the court. Alternatively, we can help you fight a relocation request by the other parent. You can rest assured that we understand how to navigate these sensitive cases. San Diego child relocation attorney Roseline D. Feral also assists parents in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista. To set up an appointment, you can contact us online or call us at 619-232-1010. You can also reach Attorney Feral directly at 619-301-1191.