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Can I move 60 miles away without my ex's consent to take my daughter

Fairfield, CA |

I have a 8 yr old daughter and joint legal and physical custody with her dad . For the last 4 years I have been commuting 60 miles one way to work. I have been looking for job postings with my union where I could be closer to home but nothing has posted . I told him out of respect that I would be moving in June when she's out of school but now he's upset and doesn't want to let her move with me . My daughter doesn't want to live with him and his girlfriend . What can I legally do ? I have 51% and he has 50% but really has only ever had her mon tues and every other weekend . I'm willing to give him every weekend . He's just not happy ! He wants me to leave her with him but my daughter cries already when she has to go over there for the weekends I don't want to leave her here with him .

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Attorney answers 2


You need to review the latest custody order and what it says about moving the child. Most orders prohibit a custodial parent from moving out of the county where they lived at the time the order was issued, unless the other parent agrees or the court gives permission.

Even if there is no such prohibition, you still want to be careful. You share joint legal custody, and he has equal say as to what school she attends. Your move would change that, and he doesn't agree. Have you tried offering to transport the child to visits, to eliminate the additional cost and time that he would suffer from your move?

To be on the safe side, you should file a motion for a change to the current custody/visitation order, including the right to move. The new order should address not only the move and a new visitation schedule, but also the transportation responsibilities (who, how far, where, who pays, etc.). Given the length of time it takes to get such an order, you should file now so that hopefully you will have an answer by the time you want to move.

The advice given in this answer should be reviewed with legal counsel of your own choosing, to ensure that the specific and unique facts of your case are taken into account when evaluating the potential courses of action that are available to you and appropriate to attain your desired result. Therefore, do not rely on this response as a definitive answer to your question, but rather as a resource when considering your options.



First, YOU do not know what your current orders are. You say the timeshare is 50 - 51%. That is a mathamatical impossibility - you can only have 100% of anything. Reread your orders and see what the timeshare is.

Second, Regradless what your orders are, there ARE current orders, and if you just move away you will prevent dad from having his time, which violates the current orders which were made by a judge, which will upset the judge, and which is called contempt, and that contempt will be used against you when father sets a hearing to require you to return the boy. Have the hearing before you move.

Third, bring a motion to modify the current orders, and hire an experienced attorney to at least write your motion (because an experienced attorney knows what the court wants to hear and wha evidence to attach), or to also come to court if you can afford it, You will want evidence - not just your say so - to prove to the court what father's real parentiing time has been

Thomas Neil is a Sacramento attorney, representing clients in court in Sacramento and in surrounding counties. Or, if you cannot afford full representation then, for much less, Mr. Neil can instead write you the forms and declaration you need, and help you serve them, and you go to court by yourself. A well written declaration by an attorney, supported by proper evidence, will GREATLY increase your chances of sucess in court. Our office takes credit cards.

Thomas A Neil
3224 El camino Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 446-4153

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