What is a Move-Away Case?

A move-away case is when one parent decides to move from the current residence to a residence that is such a distance that the current custodial arrangement is not practical. As an example if a party has alternating weekends and the other party decides to move to Hawaii , it is not practical for that type of a commute on an alternating weekend basis.

Family Code § 3024 indicates that if a parent plans to change the residence of the child for more than 30 days, an agreement between the parties or a court order is required. The notice shall be sent to the party affected, or their counsel, 45 days in advance of the proposed change of residence. However, as a practical matter, if a party wants to relocate they should give notice well in advance of the relocation, because the court system may take up to five months before a determination is granted. Some attorneys are under the impression that a 730 Evaluation needs to be commenced in every move-away case. The Law Office of David C. Stone analyzes each move-away case regarding the facts to determine whether or not a 730 evaluation is the appropriate vehicle under those facts.

Case laws regarding move-away cases have been evolving, and it appears at this time that the courts are in agreement on the issues regarding a move-away. One of the main concerns and an important element to analyze is whether or not the move-away is in concert with parental alienation.