Westlake Village Child Relocation Attorney

Even among unmarried parents, child custody is often a sticking point in a breakup or divorce, and child relocation is a sensitive subject that brings all sorts of emotions to the surface. Suppose you are a parent hoping to move away with your child or worry that the child’s other parent will move away with your child. In that case, you need to speak to a Westlake Village child relocation attorney immediately to understand how California law applies in your particular situation.

Best Interests of the Children

In California, as in most states, family courts make decisions based on the children’s best interests above all other factors. However, the laws regarding child relocation are pretty complicated and constantly evolving. Typically, a California parent with a permanent primary physical custody order is permitted to move as they see fit, provided the other parent cannot show cause that the move would harm the child. Still, whether or not a custody order is temporary or permanent comes into play in this also, with temporary orders having less weight in court than permanent ones.

Moreover, if the parents share physical custody of the child—joint custody—and one of the parents objects to the move, then the parent wishing to relocate must prove to the family court that the move is in the child’s best interests.

In both cases, the label of joint or sole custody—outlined in the parenting agreement in your case—is a vital part of the court’s decisions. When a dispute regarding relocation is on the table, the courts will review the parenting schedule to determine how much a move will disrupt the children’s lives and how feasible it will be for the other non-relocating parent to spend time with the children in the case.

Because of this, both parents should develop a parenting plan that considers the whole family. Any parenting plan should offer visitation that allows both parents ample time with the kids.

Moving Out of State or Out of the US

Parents looking to move out of the state or even out of the country may face a more significant obstacle than in-state moves when the issue is presented to the family court. In such scenarios, having the other parent’s express permission is usually required.

Help With Child Relocation

Whether you are moving 20 miles or 2,000 miles away (or if your child’s other parent is doing so), new custody and visitation orders must be obtained if the move impacts your existing custody arrangement. Remember, the court is not deciding whether or not the parent can move, but whether or not the child can move away from the other parent—and if the child is permitted to move, what arrangements must be made to accommodate the other parent’s visitation privileges.

Get help with your child relocation case from an experienced Westlake Village child relocation attorney. The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch offers solid advice and knowledgeable counsel regarding custody and relocation issues. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 818-707-0202.

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