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San Luis Obispo Move-Away Case Lawyers

Move-Away Case Lawyer In San Luis Obispo & Atascadero, CA

After getting divorced or separated, many parents will feel like moving somewhere else, usually because they want to return to their family or just be somewhere new. While it might be good for their emotional recovery, concerns regarding custody may arise. If you are going through a divorce and wish to move elsewhere but have a child to take care of, talk to our San Luis Obispo move-away case lawyer to address your moving away concerns.

When a couple divorces, the court will assign legal physical custody to either parents (sole custody) both parents (joint custody). In joint custody, children spend equal time living with both parents based on a schedule, while in sole custody, a child lives full time with one parent, but the other parent still has visitation rights.

The goal of deciding child custody is to make sure that the needs of a child will be met – including the need for continued and frequent contact with both parents, generally. Of course, when a parent wants to move someplace else, concerns may be raised regarding the custodial agreement.

If you need help filing for custody orders in California, call us to schedule a consultation with us and get legal help today.

Move-Away Cases in California

Essentially, a move-away case arises when one of the parents who has sole or joint custody wishes to move someplace that will disrupt the current custodial setup. 

Distance is usually the major factor, but it isn’t the only factor. Regardless of distance, as long as the current custody situation is affected, the parents will have to establish a new custody and visitation schedule.

Before taking to court in front of a judge, however, parents can settle the issue privately and agree between themselves about where their child will live and what visitation provisions will be given. However, if they cannot agree on a setup, they will have to have a hearing in front of a judge to establish a new setup.

In these cases, either parent will file a motion for new custody orders with the court. For the moving parent, this might mean seeking permission for the child to move with him, and for the other parent, it might be a motion for the child to stay via a change of custody.

In move-away cases, do note that the primary concern is the custody of the child, not if a parent can move because it is their Constitutional right to be able to move and it can’t be prevented by the court. The court will only have to decide whether moving with the parent or staying with the other parent will be in the best interest of the child.

Move-away cases can get very complicated because there are no clear-cut definitions and guidelines to follow, which is why it is best to consult with a skilled San Luis Obispo family law attorney.

Factors Involved in Move-Away Cases

Custody Arrangements

The first thing the court will look into is the previous custodial setup. If there was previously joint legal custody and joint physical custody, neither parent will have to bring evidence to show changed circumstances. Both parents will appear in court in an evidentiary hearing so that the court can make a new custody decision based on what they think will be best for the child.

In cases where there was previously sole custody by one parent, it is presumed that the custodial parent will have the right to move with the child, but the other non-custodial parent can come to court and bring evidence supporting the claim that the move would be bad for the child. If it can be proven that the move will be detrimental, the previous custody decision will be reevaluated and a new custody order will be issued.

If you have any questions regarding the custody arrangements in move-away cases, be sure to contact our trusted San Luis Obispo move-away case lawyer child custody attorney at 805 Law Group.


Detriment can apply to two things: first, it can apply to the relationship between the non-moving parent and the child. The court will have to consider if the child moving will have a negative effect on their relationship, but this is not the main consideration.

Detriment mainly applies to the child and the child’s well-being. If the non-moving parent can initially show that moving will be detrimental for the child, the court will hold a hearing to see if moving really is in the best interest of the child.

This hearing will be an evidentiary hearing which will examine the testimonies of the people around the child including the parents, child custody evaluators, and teachers.

The child himself may also be allowed to testify. It is required by California family law to take into account the preference of the child if he is 14 years old or older and if the court finds that he is mature enough to make an intelligent preference between the parents. Children under 14 may also be allowed to testify, but only if the court deems it appropriate.

A child may be asked to testify in open court, but the court may also prefer the child to testify in front of an evaluator, mediator, or another professional who will then relay the child’s testimony to the court. This is to avoid placing unnecessary stress on the child or inflicting any trauma on the child including having to pick between two parents in front of an audience.


It is important for the child to have a stable environment while growing up, so the court will take into consideration how the current setup has been and for how long it has been in place. The court will also delve into the child’s ties with his friends, community, and school. It may be in the best interest of the child to stay if he has already formed strong ties in his current environment.

The child’s special needs will also be taken into consideration to see if he will thrive better in one environment over the other.

Reason for Moving

The parent does not have to prove to the court that the move is necessary, or that there is a reason at all. But, if the court finds that a parent only intends to move to disrupt the current custodial setup and separate the child from the other parent, the court will factor this into their decision.

Relationship Between Both Parents

The court will try to look at the relationship of both parents as well – if both parents can communicate and cooperate well to put the child and his needs above their own. The court will also check how well each parent is going to be able to maintain a relationship with the child while also accommodating the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Other Factors Considered

The court will try to have a comprehensive approach in assessing the situation of the child, so other factors that they’ll take into account include:

  • Where the child wants to live,
  • The relationship between the child and both parents,
  • The child’s age,
  • The distance of the move.

If you’re not sure about how the court may rule in your move-away case, contact our move-away case lawyer in San Luis Obispo to get legal guidance and assistance on your case.

Consult our San Obispo Move-Away Case Lawyer!

Custody law and move-away cases are complicated not because the custody court wants to make your life hard, but because they recognize the complications of different child custody cases. They only want what’s best for your child – which is what you want as a parent and what we strive for as family law attorneys.

If you are in a move-away situation that you believe will affect your child’s well-being, don’t hesitate to talk to our San Luis Obispo County attorneys so that we could fight together to protect your child.

Call 805 Law Group to get started today. We also assist in divorce cases, including division of marital property, spousal support, and high asset divorce cases.