What Happens if a Court Denies a Move-away?
Move-away issues arise when a parent has sole or joint custody of a child and wants to move far away, interfering with current custody and visitation provisions. Whether the move is to the other side of the same county, or to another state, court permission may be required. Move-away cases aren’t about whether a custodial parent can move away, but rather about whether they can move away with the parties’ children. The courts can’t refuse to allow a parent to move, but they can refuse to allow them to take the children with them.
These are some of the most difficult and emotional cases that occur in courts hearings. It’s often said that there’s an all or nothing context to them, particularly for the parent who might be left behind. The move-away can significantly change the relationship between parent and child. That relationship may never be the same again. Should you move anyway after an adverse ruling by the court, you can be held in contempt. A wide range of remedies is available to a judge when they find a person in contempt. A judge might order the county sheriff to go retrieve the children, even if it’s the sheriff of another county. You can also be charged in the criminal courts. Any such move might also trigger the filing of a motion for a change of custody. It is for these reasons that you need a trusted family attorney to represent you in court.
Should a judge deny your request for a move-away order, you must preserve the record. The first step in preserving that record might be to file a motion for reconsideration based on new facts, circumstances, or law. Your attorney will help you make the right decisions. The window of opportunity for filing that motion is very limited though. It must be filed within 10 days of being served with written notice of the denial. If your attorney is served with that notice, consider yourself served with it, too. The motion must be supported by affidavit. Requirements for the motion and supporting affidavit are very specific.
If a motion for reconsideration is either simply waived, or it’s denied, an appeal can be filed. Rule 8.104 of the California Rules of Court requires any notice of appeal to be filed within 60 days after service of a Notice of Entry of judgment or a file stamped copy of the judgment showing the date either was served. It must be served either by the Superior Court clerk or by the party filing the notice of appeal. The appellate court then schedules its own deadlines for the parties.
The final option for the person that was denied a move-away is to move without the children. The courts require entry of orders changing custody and visitation. If the move-away is granted, the children lose a parent with whom they had daily communication. If denied, and the residential parent moves alone, the children then lose the person with whom they are closest. Whichever way that a judge rules on a move-away, the children are affected and one parent loses.
Contact us at Sarieh Law if we can help you make the right choices regarding your move-away. We specialize in family law and we will stand with you through these difficult times. Call today or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.