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How do you convince a judge to allow to relocate with your child?

How do you convince a family court judge that it's in your child's best interests to allow you to relocate to a new area -- especially when that means taking your child away from his or her other parent?

California is considered fairly permissive when it comes to move-away situations, which means that it puts the burden of proof on the non-custodial parent to prove that the move would harm the child. That doesn't mean, however, that you should go into court unprepared to explain why this relocation is actually a good thing.

First, keep in mind that your focus has to be on your child. You may benefit from the move in some of the same ways that your child does, but you want to phrase everything in terms of how it will affect your child.

These are all good factors to present to a judge if you're requesting permission to relocate with your child:

-- Your child has special educational, emotional, or health needs that can be better met in the new location.

-- You have immediate family in the new location that will provide your child with a stronger support system than he or she currently enjoys.

-- You are moving to take advantage of a new job or educational opportunity that will make it possible for you to provide a better life for your child.

-- Your child has a special talent that can be nurtured in the new location at a special school or another training facility.

You also want to try to demonstrate to the court that you are not attempting to cut the other parent out of the child's life. One of the factors considered by the court is your willingness to co-parent.

Have a few ideas in mind about how the other parent can maintain contact:

-- The use of Skype or similar programs can allow the other parent to electronically "visit" the child regularly.

-- Be willing to agree to extended visitation in the summer, especially for older children.

-- Express a willingness to make sure that the other parent is able to talk on the phone with the child or visit when able.

If you want permission to relocate from the area with your child, talk to an attorney who has some experience in this area before you approach either your ex-spouse or the court.

Source:, "Custody & Parenting Time FAQs," accessed March 23, 2017

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