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Relocating with children post-divorce

Divorce may cause even the strongest person to reach a breaking point. The tension of ending a marriage can cause anger, sadness and regret to cycle from moment to moment.

Dividing property is stressful enough, but when it comes to determining child custody and a timesharing agreement, you may feel like it will never end. If you feel isolated in terms of where you live and have the desire to relocate at some point and take your children with you, it is vital that you understand what you can and cannot do under California law.

Shared legal custody

If your desire to leave your current location is strong enough, you may want to negotiate the terms of your exit with your former spouse. Relocating somewhere in-state may get you further versus an out-of-state request. However, even if the application is for relocation within the same state, your ex may only agree to a specified distance from your current home.

The court usually does not grant relocation requests unless the moving party can show that the move is beneficial to the children. For instance, moving to get away from your ex will not typically fly. If you get a unique employment opportunity, however, a court may consider the request more thoughtfully.

Sole legal custody

During your divorce, you may have gotten sole legal custody of your children, while your former spouse only got a visitation schedule. If your ex does not have legal custody of your children, you may move anywhere with them without his or her permission. You will, however, have to deal with timesharing. It is not unusual for the other parent to attempt to equalize legal custody upon your notification.

Getting through your divorce may seem impossible, especially when in the thick of it. Wanting to move away with your children is natural. However, it may not happen the way you want it to.

 

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