Child custody laws generally fall under state jurisdictions. For example, all U.S. states have a system where children are regularly placed in the care of their biological parents. In the state of California, parents who are divorced or separated but wish to retain their rights to custody of their child or children may, if they so choose, file for custody.


However, some child custody cases may involve unusual factors, such as a relocation hearing or custodial parents moving out of state. Read on to find out a few facts about these topics.


Child Custody in California

California Child Custody Laws on relocation
To fight for child custody, you will need the services of a specialized attorney in California family law. California family courts are accustomed to determining which parent can raise the child in their best interest. However, in most circumstances, the court shall order joint custody if both parents meet the court’s requirements.

In other cases, the court may award sole physical custody of the child to one parent, with visitation rights and child support subject to the terms of the separation agreement. It is crucial for the parents to be aware of the California child custody laws that govern their circumstances and seek the assistance of an experienced attorney if they want to pursue a case in court.


Legal Requirements for Moving Out of State

The custodial parent should provide the court with a written notice informing any plan of moving out of state with the child, including the reasons for the move. According to California state law, the parent should submit the written notice at least 45 days before the date of the move. This should provide enough time for the nonmoving parent to request a change in the custody agreement, especially the visitation rights.


Relocation Hearing

It is possible for a child custody case to get approved for a relocation hearing without the custodial parent automatically losing custody rights. If parents need to move away and meet court-approved reasons, which primarily consider the impact of the relocation to the child, they can keep the custody for the best intents and purposes.


Change in custody can only happen when the existing custody agreement affects the child negatively. However, if perhaps, a parent needs to transfer for work-related reasons or the child’s better future, the court can approve the move.


On the other hand, if the other parent counteracts the relocation request, the court can schedule a hearing to determine the need for changes in the custody agreement regarding visitation and other factors.


Here are some of the legal factors considered by the court if it’s appropriate to grant order a change in custody:


  • reason for moving
  • the distance of the intended move
  • the environment in the proposed new location
  • both parents’ relationship with the child
  • physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child
  • any harm that the change in custody might cause to the child
  • other relevant factors that affect the best interests of the child


Relocation is yet another change for children who have already been through their parents’ divorce. It is critical that parents work together to find a solution that provides the child with the stability they need when moving out of state.


California Family Lawyers

A family lawyer specializing in child custody will provide sound legal counsel for clients who have been through divorce and want to secure their child’s future. 


Trust only the experts to handle your child custody case. We specialize in a comprehensive, highly personalized approach to family law matters. Visit us here to book a consultation!