Divorce is often thought of as a chance for a clean slate and a fresh start. If you’re a divorced father, you may be limited on exactly where you can begin that fresh start. In this article, we’ll talk about the legalities of moving your children away from the other parent.
California Law: What Happens if One Parent is Against the Move?
Generally speaking, California law says that if you’re the parent with sole physical custody, you’re free to move away with your children. The only hiccup is if your ex can prove that the move would harm the children.
If you have joint physical custody and your ex is not on board with the move, you’ll need to prove to the court that the move is in the children’s best interest.
Even if the terms “joint custody” or “sole custody” are on your divorce decree, the court is going to have a look at the actual parenting schedule if one of you is against the move.
What If There’s No Custody Agreement in Place?
If you’ve yet to file for divorce and a custody agreement isn’t in place, you can pretty much relocate the kiddos wherever you wish – unless the other parent objects. If there is an objection, your spouse can get a court order to put an end to the whole thing.
Restrictions Kick In As Soon As Summons of Dissolution is Served
The moment you or your spouse files for divorce, you’re bound by the terms of the Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROS). The other parent will be bound by its terms when the summons is served. All the ATROS terms will remain in effect until the final divorce judgment is made.
At its core, ATROS prevents the removal or moving of the kids from the state without written consent that’s been previously given.
This provision is necessary because, unfortunately, a common tactic of some parents is to go ahead and move the children out of state and then use the move as a way to gain leverage on the other spouse.
When Traveling – Domestically and Abroad – Do Right By Your Child and Your Ex
Let’s say you want to travel beyond California with your children. You’ll be making things much easier for yourself if you provide the other parent with an itinerary, the specific dates of the trip and opportunities for contacting the children while on your venture.
If you’re thinking of going abroad, things can be a bit more complicated. Because the overriding concern in the eyes of the court is the safety of the children, officials want to eliminate any chances that the child may not be returned.
To that end, it’s important to make sure the country you’re traveling to is a member of the Hague Convention. Countries that have signed on to The Hague have pledged to cooperate and return children to the U.S.
The Men’s Legal Center: Fiercely Protecting the Rights of Divorced Men
We strongly support divorced fathers who want to do right by their children. If you’ve got questions about your situation, get in touch with us by calling 619-234-3838 or by email.