What are my continued custody rights if I got offered a job 6 hours away from my son’s father?

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What are my continued custody rights if I got offered a job 6 hours away from my son’s father?

My son, now 8 years old, has always lived with me. His dad hardly saw him and paid money sporadically. Now I have been offered a job 6 hours away and he wants me to leave our son with him. What are my rights as the mother? It is still in the same state. He won’t even compromise with me. He has hardly paid any child support.

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whenever a custodial parent decides to relocate, this can impact the non-custodial parent's access to the children. In fact, it may violate an existing custody and/or visitation order. Accordingly, the custodial parent must seek approval from the court before making any move. A move-away petition must be filed.

While custodial parents have the legal right to change residences, the courts can make modifications to the custody and visitation arrangements if it finds it is in the "best interests of the child" to do so. Relocation also can be grounds for the non-custodial parent to request a change in the custody arrangement. A significant change in circumstances may necessitate such a modification. The non-custodial parent must be able to show that the move is detrimental to the child. The reason for the move will be is important (e.g. is it an attempt by the custodial parent to limit or interfere with the non- custodial parent's rights to see the child). The court will also consider the distance involved; the age of the child; the child's relationship with both parents; the extent to which the parents are currently sharing custody; etc.

At this point, you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.


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