When a custodial parent in a child custody proceeding requests a move-away order from the court allowing him/her to move a significant distance that would interfere with the noncustodial parent's visitation and his/her contact with the children, this is commonly referred to as a move-away case. A move-away case is one of the most difficult cases for the family courts to hear, because the request by the custodial parent to move away with his/her children often has a negative impact on the frequent and continuous contact the children will have with the noncustodial parent. Some jurisdictions are permissive in how they rule on move-away cases, and other jurisdictions are more restrictive.
States in which the statutory language and case law pertaining to move-away cases is more permissive may result in more permissive rulings. In such states, there may be a strong presumption that the parent that has primary physical custody of the children has the right to move away with the children, while the burden to prevent the move-away (by showing that the move-away is in bad faith or would be detrimental to the welfare of the children) rests squarely on the noncustodial parent.
Further, states that are more permissive in move-away cases may not require the custodial parent to show that the move is expedient to the child's welfare, or even necessary. In other words, if the move-away is good for the custodial parent, then the move-away is presumed to automatically be good for the children. The resulting high burden placed on the noncustodial parent to prevent the move-away has made such cases the perfect battleground for some custodial parents to alienate the noncustodial parent from his/her children.
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For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/