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Move Away in California - I have sole physical custody, how do I move to Florida?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a father with joint legal custody and sole physical custody of my 9-year
old son. His mother lives in Sonoma County, 480 miles away. The visitation is as
follows: winter breaks with her, spring break with her, 6 weeks in the summer
with her. Otherwise no visits. She has not come and visited him down here in the
past 8 years. I have a new wife, 2 more kids and the 5 of us would like to move
away to Floriday due to financial reasons, quality of life, etc. It would not
affect visitation. Do I need to file a motion, in court if so what motion and
what is the actual form (forms) number to be filed? I am representing myself due
to my ex attorney moving into environmental law. Thank you.

I understand it would be best to resolve, believe me I tried. But this is a person who's objected to me taking my son, who lives with me on vacation to Florida for a week, just for the heck of it. I had to have the courts involved and they ended up giving me tie breaker authority, even though we have joint legal custody. This is a person, who owes over $10K in child support and who doesn't call my son for a month at a time. So the court unfortunately is unavoidable, I have dealt with it for 9 years now and it's cost me around $60K in attorney's fees. This is why I am trying to figure out what motion and forms I need to file (Los Angeles County) to request approval from the court to move. Again, it would not affect visitation.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

I would first like to point out that you need not represent yourself because your ex attorney no longer practices family law. I am sure that he was not the only qualified family law attorney in all of Los Angeles.

In any event, even if the move to Florida will not impact the other party's visitation schedule, she does have joint legal custody (which includes a say in the selection of the children's school and many other issues).

You would therefore need to file a motion with the court, requesting permission to move-away. However, before I give you the names and numbers of the "forms", i would suggest that you communicate with the mother. Since it is not impacting her visitation, you might find that she would agree to your move-away and you would only need to prepare a Stipulated Order on that issue with the Court. There is really no point in causing unnecessary court congestion if the matter can be agreed to without filing such a motion and having a hearing on the issue.

I have been answering many questions on AVVO and giving my opinion of what will occur if a matter went before a judicial officer based upon the facts as I understand them. However, I want to point out that such an opinion is based upon many factors, not the least of which is that the party have an experienced family law attorney representing them on the matter. If facts and issues of law are not properly placed before the court, the results could be very different than otherwise expected.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.


I agree with Mr. Baer. If could resolve the issue with you ex, aside from court congestion, you would save money on attorney fees and most importantly you sanity by not getting involved in a court battle.

Paris Kalor, Esq.
(949) 460-6466
We serve all Southern California

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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