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Relocation and the best interests of the child standard

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2022 | Child Custody |

Major changes happen in life, and a promotion at work that requires you to relocate across the state may be one of them.

If you are a custodial parent, you will have to show the court that a move with your young son meets the best interests of the child standard.

Relocation rules

In the state of California, a parent who has sole physical custody can relocate with his or her child unless the court finds that the move is not in the best interests of the child. The custodial parent must notify the other parent at least 45 days prior to the intended move since they must prepare a new custody agreement. A noncustodial parent who objects to the proposed move must ask the court to modify the custody agreement in a way that benefits that parent. The parent with permanent sole custody has the right to relocate with the child unless the noncustodial parent can prove that such a move would harm the child.

Factors the court considers

The judge will consider various factors to determine how the proposed move would affect your son, including:

  • The distance of the move
  • The impact of the move on your son’s normal routine
  • Your ability to meet the physical and emotional needs of your son, including food, shelter, education and parental guidance
  • What your son wants
  • Visitation arrangements with the other parent

Meeting the best interests standard

Your attorney can help you prepare a petition on relocation to present to the court. It must show that you are actively involved in the life of your son, provide loving care and have his best interests at heart.


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