California Family Law Attorney


Is Notice Required Before a Parent Moves?

Family Code section 3024 is a critical statute that is directed to "parent relocation" or "move-away" situations - where one person, who is usually the "prime-time" parent, may later decide to change the habitual residence of the parties' children, 30 miles, 300, or to another state. This section is routinely referred to in child custody recommending counselor reports, custody evaluations, and custody and visitation recommends as an order that the mom or dad must inform the other of an intended move within at least forty-five days before it occurs. Sometimes, however, reference to this section gets omitted in court orders - and that is a real mistake for underempowered parent. One of the valuable pointers I hope parents will leave my website with is the foresight to ask your family law judge to require both parents to comply with section 3024! Its greatest benefits include (1) creating a mechanism by which both parents can and must be informed of the other's intentions with regard to changing the residence address of the kids and (2) creating an argument that a move-away, control-freak, other parent who just doesn't honor the children's interest is having two accessible should either (a) bring the child back after moving in violation of this section or (b) stay where they've gone, but put your child on a plane to come home!

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Family Code Section 3024

In making an order for custody, if the court does not consider it inappropriate, the court may specify that a parent shall notify the other parent if the parent plans to change the residence of the child for more than 30 days, unless there is prior written agreement to the removal. The notice shall be given before the contemplated move, by mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the parent to be notified. A copy of the notice shall also be sent to that parent's counsel of record. To the extent feasible, the notice shall be provided within a minimum of 45 days before the proposed change of residence so as to allow time for mediation of a new agreement concerning custody.
This section does not affect orders made before January 1, 1989.