Britney Spears’ Children are Moving: Relocation and Child Custody

Mon 19th June, 2023 Family Law

When you share a child with a co-parent moving your child into a different state might be complicated. Every situation is different, and how easy or difficult the move might be could largely depend on the wishes of your co-parent. 

This topic rose to attention this week when it was reported that musical icon Britney Spears issued her consent for her ex-husband to move their two underage sons with him to Hawaii. While the details of the move and feelings on the part of both parties have not been publicized, by all appearances, it seems that this family unit is fortunate. Issues of custody are a surefire way to make an otherwise amicable relationship contentious. If you share a child with a co-parent, you owe it to yourself to get smart on the process of how a parent gains permission to move the child from the state. This knowledge will help you understand the process should you ever need to pursue it for yourself or if you need to respond to a co-parent’s attempt to move your child out of your area.

Laws and Processes

It is important to understand that no one can stop YOU from moving out of the state (barring exigent circumstances such as parole requirements). People have a constitutional right to such movement of their own person. However, you do not have a constitutional right to move your child with you. If you put yourself on the other end of the equation, it is easy to see why. No parent would want their co-parent to have the unilateral power to move away with their child. When one parent requests a move, the courts will examine the circumstances and consider the best interests of the child.

Different laws and processes will be in place and need to be managed based on the specifics of your family. Were you married, now divorced, and executing a custody arrangement? The rules and processes you must follow will vary greatly from the rules that apply to an unwed mother whose child’s father has not established paternity. The specifics of your case can (and should) be discussed with an experienced attorney.

Sole Custody

A parent with sole custody will likely be successful in a petition to move their child out of the state. Courts will generally allow it so long as the move does not negatively affect your child’s rights and the move is deemed to be in the child’s best interest. (Factors such as moving the kids to better living conditions, better schools, and more family are all seen as working toward a child’s best interest.)

California requires that custodial parents provide their co-parent with written notification that they intend to move the child out of state. The notice must be served 45 days or more before the intended move. This timeframe allows for the parties to work through a new custody or visitation agreement and gives the co-parent time to object to the move if they so choose.

Joint Custody

A parent with primary physical custody will need to file a move-away petition with the court. The petition should detail why the parent is requesting to make the move.

An objecting co-parent must file an objection or dispute to the move-away petition with the court. The court will either grant or deny permission to make the move based on what the court deems to be in the best interest of the child. Depending on the child’s age, their expressed wishes may also be taken into account.

Contact Bradley S. Sandler

If you are going through a divorce and you or your co-parent are planning to move your child out of California, contact the office of Bradley S. Sandler to speak with an experienced divorce attorney who is well-practiced in these matters. See how our office can help you come to the best possible outcome in your case.



Britney Spears Responds to Kevin Federline’s Plan to Move Their Sons – E! Online (,is%20agreed%20by%20the%20court.