In custody cases, one of the most contentious issues that can arise is parental relocation. When parents need to relocate, they may want to take their children with them. That’s not always possible, depending on the current custody arrangements and how far away they want to move.
Parental relocation is a big deal, and it’s something that you and your ex-spouse do need to discuss before it happens. In California, you are both expected to share custody, and the 50-50 schedule that you had may not be as simple if you or your ex move away.
When a parent has to relocate, consider the options
Whenever a parent has to relocate, you need to think about the options open to you. There are a few things that might work. For example, if the other parent is moving an hour away, you may be able to switch to a custody plan where you have your child through the school week and take them to a drop-off point to be picked up for the weekend. Then, some additional time could be spent with the other parent in the summer or on school breaks.
You might want to look into the opportunities in both locations, too. If the new location has a better school or more support from family, then it might be better to let your child go with the other parent to the new home and to seek a custody modification to suit.
Do you need a post-judgment modification?
You should have a post-judgment modification entered if you and your ex-spouse work out a new custody schedule. This is because verbal agreements cannot be legally enforced in California. So, even if your ex says that it’s okay to take your child to your new home, you do need to make sure the court has the new schedule approved before you start using it.
A good parenting plan and custody schedule is a must for your child. Sit down with your ex-spouse and work out a schedule that will be suitable with any new responsibilities in your lives. If you can’t work out a solution, it may be worth going to court to have a judge decide on a new custody plan.