A difficult divorce (or uncoupling, in the case of unmarried parents) becomes even more devastating when there are minor children involved, especially if one parent wishes to relocate with the child to another city or even move to another state or country. Equitable terms regarding parenting time are generally one of the biggest sticking points in any divorce where spouses have children in common. For help with child custody and visitation issues in California, reach out to a competent and caring Westlake Village child relocation attorney who can guide you through the process while helping to ensure the best interest of your child(ren).
Being ordered to spend less than full time with your child can be difficult and may lead to a bevy of emotions among both parents, and the friction that is commonplace between divorcing/divorced couples when it comes to their shared children is usually ongoing. Divorce is a legal end to a marriage, but parenting is a lifelong endeavor. Trying to make things as smooth as possible as far as custody goes is a smart move for both parents.
In California, custody may be legal and/or physical. The courts generally grant both parents legal custody so that they can share in making decisions when it comes to the child’s care, education, and so on. Physical custody is a reference to who the child lives with, and one parent may have the child more than the other. For instance, in many arrangements, the child may live with the mother most of the time, and the father may see the child every other weekend.
The courts tend to decide that the best interests of the child are served when both parents are regular forces in the child’s life and afforded the opportunity to be around both parents as much as possible. This works well for many divorced couples, but sometimes one parent may need to relocate due to whatever reason—job requirements, to care for an aging parent, personal desire—and this does not always sit well with the other parent.
Regardless of how the noncustodial parent may feel about it, it is the custodial parent’s right to move to a new neighborhood or change residences whenever they decide to do so. The only real requirement under the law is that the parent provides a written notice of their intentions at least 45 days in advance of the move. This allows both parents to work out the details of a modified visitation agreement or new parenting plan. If the parent who is not moving decides to object to the move, then they have the right to do so in court.
When it comes to the relocation of a child and custodial parent, judges tend to look at whether the move would have a negative impact on the child. Some factors that will determine whether or not the courts agree to the move include the need for stability and continuity in the child’s life, the moving distance, any type of harm that might result from the move, and how the move will affect the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
Cases involving the relocation of a child can be quite complicated. Turn to the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, a seasoned Westlake Village child relocation attorney for help with your custody issues, including moving concerns. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-379-4550.