Under California Family Code section 7501, a parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change the residence of the child. However, the Courts have the power to disallow the parent to move away with the child if the move is not in the best interest of the child.
One reason for the Courts to disallow a custodial parent's request to move away with a minor child is when the relocation adversely affects the noncustodial parent's visitation rights. This is the single most hotly issue with numerous cases resulting in different results. Many courts approved restrictions on the parent's right to move away or relocate with the child and imposed burdens such as proving that move away was "necessary" or "expedient, essential or imperative." Some Courts used a test for move away cases to guide the trial courts in making the determination. Others simply held that the custodial parent was presumptively entitled to move away.