Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

If I need to move, what are my obligations?

Moving is just part of life for many Orange County residents. Whether it is some sort of a military service, a necessary change in jobs or professions or even just an urgent family situation, people often find themselves having to leave Orange County to go somewhere else in the state or, in many cases, having to move out of California altogether.

This is hard enough when parents live in the same household together with their children, but it is even a more difficult task when parents are separated and have to deal with child custody and visitation changes which no doubt will be needed after a significant move.

Particularly if the relationship between the two parents is not good, it may be very tempting for one parent to move with his or her child as quickly and as discretely as possible. However, parents should resist this temptation, especially since California courts have the authority under the law to require that a parent notify the other parent if he or she intends to move. This is not an absolute rule, and courts are free to waive this notice in their court orders if the circumstances so dictate. The notice is supposed to be provided at least 45 days before the move happens to the extent that is "feasible."

Notice aside, it is also important to recognize that if a parent has sole custody, then the law gives that parent the right to decide where the child lives, meaning that the other parent has to be told about the move but has little he or she can do about it other than ask for a change of the custody and visitation order after the fact. The court is supposed to allow the move unless the move would actually hurt the child. Parents who share custody have broader rights.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Orange, CA 92868
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