Can I Move Out of the Country with Our Child? International Relocation (Move Away)

In Re: Marriage of Condon is the leading authority on international move-away cases. In re Marriage of Condon (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 533. Moving out of the country with a child will obviously have a dramatic effect on a child’s relationship with the non-moving parent. Therefore, there are special rules for international move-away cases.

The Court analyzed Burgess and LaMusga in its decision (see prior blog entitled Relocation (Move Away) with a Child), which are the leading cases on move away ases within the United States.

In Condon, the court granted a move-away with Mother to Australia, and four vacations per year with Father. The factors the trial court used in its analysis included Mother’s ability to financially support herself in Australia rather than be wholly dependent on Husband for support; the impact of the parties' stressful relationship on the children; Mother’s extensive family in Australia; the children’s primary emotional attachment to their mother; and, the children's lack of a firm long-time base in California.

The parent seeking to move internationally must show the other parent’s rights to custody will be preserved in light of the cultural, transportation, and financial problems posed by an international move. Marriage of Condon (1998) 62 CA4th 533.

At a minimum, the child must be able to have continued contact with the parent remaining in the United States, and the California custody order must be guaranteed enforceable in the foreign country. Marriage of Abargil (2003) 106 CA4th 1294.

Therefore, to protect the child’s relationship with remaining parent, the custodial parent may be (1) ordered to post a substantial financial bond to ensure compliance with the court’s orders; (2) prohibited from applying for modification of the judgment in any but a California court; and (3) required to register the California judgment with the foreign authorities before leaving the state. Marriage of Abargil (2003) 106 CA4th 1294. If the moving parent is unable to afford a bond, they may be subject to alternative sanctions to ensure compliance with court orders. J.M. v G.H. (2014) 228 CA4th 925.

If you are experiencing this issue, please feel free to contact our offices for a consultation based on the particular facts of your case. All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about our firm, our services and the experience of our attorneys.  The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.

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