Requests to relocate will have a major impact on child custody agreements, and the courts will often need to step in and issue a decision.
It is not uncommon for individuals to look for new opportunities in different states, especially in a difficult economy. People might want to move closer to family so they can start over after a divorce, and there can be serious complications if they want the child to move as well.
In many of these situations, the noncustodial parent will be very opposed to the move. The move-away request is considered to be a major change in circumstances, and will require the court the revisit the existing custody agreement in place.
The court will be tasked with coming to a final ruling over whether or not to allow the custodial parent to relocate with the child. It will examine several factors when trying to arrive at its decision under California law, including:
– The current custody agreement between the parties
– The age of the child
– The wishes of the child, if the child is old enough to understand what is happening
– The stability of the child in the current custody agreement
– The relationship that the child currently shares with both parents
– The actual distance of the move proposed by the relocating parent
– The reasons for the move by the custodial parent
– The relationship between the parents, that is their ability to communicate with one another, and place the child’s needs above their own concerns
No one factor is to be considered controlling in these cases. Each case is different and must be analyzed on the facts present in each situation in order to determine what is best for the child. The courts cannot restrict the parents from moving; however, they can decide that a change in custody is necessary. The parent may be allowed to leave town, but the child will have to stay with the other parent.
These types of cases often result in much more stress for all parties involved. One of the parents is facing a significant reduction in the amount of time that they will be able to spend with their child. It can be difficult to focus on all of the issues that need to be addressed, and this can lead to a lot of disputes between the parents.
If you are considering relocating, or your co-parent has stated an intention to move away with your child, you need to take immediate action. Consult an experienced family law attorney to begin preparing your case. If you try to handle these kinds of matters on your own, you will make crucial mistakes that can have a serious impact upon the life of your child.
The sooner you get started on these issues, the more time you will have to demonstrate why your requests should be granted. Your attorney will be able to help you deal with all of the legal issues that develop in these cases, allowing you to maximize your time with your child.