How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joseph Your Own Question
Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If I have 50/50 custody can the mother decide to move to the

Resolved Question:

If I have 50/50 custody can the mother decide to move to the out skirts of the county(about 1 hr away from where I live) with out any notification? Also to enroll my daughter in a school over there, knowing that half the week I take her to school?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

The California statute governing this issue is Family Code Section 7501. Section 7501 states:


(a) A parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right
to change the residence of the child, subject to the power of the
court to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or
welfare of the child.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to affirm the decision in
In re Marriage of Burgess (1996) 13 Cal.4th 25, and to declare that
ruling to be the public policy and law of this state.


As to the Burgess case, it contains the same language that was codified in 7501, that being that the custodial parent has the right to move so long as the move does not "prejudice the rights or welfare of the child."


So the question here is whether her move will effect the welfare of the child and the contact with you. I would suggest that this is a close call. If the move were just a bit shorter, perhaps only 30 miles or so, it would seem highly probable that the move would be permitted. Conversely, if the move were a bit longer, perhaps 2 hours away, it would seem highly probable that the move would not be permitted. With the distance at issue here, it would be all but impossible to state with any certainty whether the move would be permitted.


If the two of you cannot reach an agreement as to the move, it will ultimately be at the court's discretion. In that event, she would want to demonstrate that the move would be good for the child and that it would not interfere with the relationship between the child and the other parent. Conversely, you would want to demonstrate that the move provides no benefit for the child and that it would be detrimental to your relationship with the child.


I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on the green ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Even if you are a subscription member, you will need to click ACCEPT. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck!


Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Joseph and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.


Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I"For Joseph".....I understand what you stated in the above answer. However, I don't see how this would be possible if the custody is joint physical and legal 50/50. If the mother knows that I have her throughout half the school week and commute her to school on my mornings. How would she be able to move without any prior notification over an hour a away? What would be my course of actions to take regarding this? Do I file with the courts immediately?


Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

The difficulty lies in the fact that the California statute does not provide any specific guidelines. For instance, some states have statutes indicating that the parent can move up to 50 miles without obtaining the consent of the other parent or an order from the judge. California, however, provides no such guidance. The net result is that parents are placed in a situation such as yourself, that being having no real guidance from the law.


I understand your point completely, that being that her proposed move will, in fact, effect you and your relationship with your daughter. Unfortunately, as I detailed above, the law simply does not provide a definite answer.


As to the involvement of the court, the mother may file with the court to seek permission to move. Alternatively, if she simply intends to move without your consent or a court order, the recourse would be for you to file to prevent the move.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

If we decide to settle things with out the court and we reach a mutual understanding, will a mutual agreement via emails hold up in court if she were to try and change the order late? Or try and say that I was in violation of original order. Again; if we had email communications from her stating what the new arrangement was..... would that hold up in court? If that makes any sense to you, sorry


Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

I would never suggest relying on emails when going to court. Emails can be modified or changed, people can denying having authored the email and, most importantly, an email is not a substitute for a court order.


If the agreement is for nothing to change, then there is probably no need to do anything. Conversely, if the agreement is for a move or change in any way, then it would be wise to draft a stipulated modification to your judgment. You would each sign off on the modification and then forward it to the judge to have him sign off on it as well. You would then have a court order that would be binding upon you both and would absolutely "hold up in court".


Considering the gravity of the issues, you might consider retaining a family law attorney to handle it for you. The attorney could draft the paperwork, facilitate the signatures, forward it to the judge and otherwise ensure the accuracy and validity of the order.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Forgive me for not understanding this.....I had a balance of $45 and checked box for unlimited questions. My balance is now zero after accepting your anwser once. Now if I click accept anwser it's asking for more money, that wasn't what I understood as the way this would work....????

Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

None of the experts on this site, myself included, can either bill you or detail the billing process, these matters are handled by Just Answer directly. Please contact customer service with any questions you may have regarding the billing process.


I apologize for any confusion.

Related Family Law Questions