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When will the court let you relocate with a child after divorce?

Relocating after your divorce can be tricky if you have a child.

Even if you have primary physical custody of your child, that doesn't mean that the court will automatically allow you to relocate a significant distance away from the child's other parent. A long-distance move could significantly interfere with that parent's visitation rights -- and might not be best for your child.

Before you approach a family court in California about relocating, it's important to understand the way that the court will evaluate such a request. In general, the court will always put the best interests of your child ahead of your personal or professional goals.

That being said, here are some possible reasons for relocating that the court might consider acceptable:

  • You want to move back to an area where you have close relatives who can provide a strong support system for your children.
  • You have a job opportunity in another area that could significantly improve your child's economic situation.
  • You want to pursue an education, which would eventually allow you to better your economic status and provide more financial benefits for your child.
  • You want to move in order to allow your child the benefit of an educational opportunity that either suits your child's gifts or special needs.
  • You want to move somewhere that would give your disabled child better access to medical or social services.

Even though these are all good reasons to relocate, none of them guarantee that a judge will approve your petition. You'll also need to provide the court with a specific plan that shows how the other parent can maintain his or her relationship with the child following the move.

Relocating with a child following a divorce takes planning -- and you need to start it early if you hope to succeed. For more information, talk to an experienced family law attorney today.

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