In the years that follow a divorce, the lives of you and your children will change. You will undoubtedly be faced with new circumstances, new needs, and new challenges. When these matters call for changes to your child custody arrangements as they have been set forth by the family court, the road ahead can be difficult. A Carlsbad move-aways lawyer can help you navigate this process to protect your interests and those of your child, in a move-away case.
For example, relocating to a distant city or state with your children can be a very complicated matter that must be decided by the court based on the principle of what is in the child(ren)’s best interests.
If you wish to relocate with children you share with a co-parent or if you wish to contest such a move-away, you can turn to Erica Bloom Law. Our firm is dedicated to California family law and all of its issues and will do everything possible to give you the convincing voice you need before the court to support your case. Our attorney has been handling family matters for 10 years and understands the importance of this issue in child custody matters.
Move-away cases are among the most challenging and emotionally charged of all family law cases. The parent who wishes to relocate will commonly view it as a chance to make a new start while the other parent may vigorously oppose the move, seeing it as a reduction or loss of parental rights.
Parents who wish to relocate may want to do so for very valid purposes, such as:
However, by relocating, the child custody arrangements between the two parents will be broken. Moving to another part of California or another state makes joint custody plans impossible to uphold due to the distances involved. Thus, a move-away essentially disrupts the stability of the parenting plan schedule to which children are accustomed.
It is generally accepted that maintaining the routines of children is extremely important and major disruptions of this nature can be emotionally destabilizing, especially for younger children. Courts also prefer that children maintain frequent and continuing relationships with both parents after divorce; this is seen as being in the best interests of a child’s development and well-being.
Thus, the problem of relocation becomes a major one. If you are seeking such a move, you will need to plan by carefully preparing your case, and have solid evidence backing up your assertion that the move will benefit more than harm the child.
Move-aways in California are governed by California Family Code Section 7501 which states that “a parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change the residence of the child, subject to the power of the court to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.” You cannot change your child’s residence without an agreement with the other parent or court approval.
Each move-away case is decided individually, taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case. If you wish to seek such a move or, as the other parent, if you wish to prevent such a move, you will need competent legal representation. We strongly urge you to discuss the specifics of your case with our attorney for a candid assessment of the situation and how best to move forward.
The level of difficulty of obtaining a move-away order in California will largely depend on the custody arrangement that exists between you and your ex-spouse and the specific circumstances of the relocation. If the moving parent has sole custody, there may be a good chance that the court maintains its position on this decision, especially if there is a compelling reason why the parent was originally designated as the primary caregiver.
However, matters are slightly more complicated in joint custody situations. When this happens, the court will take a close look at what impact the move could have on the child’s well-being. This includes how it would impact:
A Carlsbad move-away lawyer is the perfect resource to help navigate these scenarios, whether you currently have a sole or joint custody arrangement.
The court is not able to tell a parent that they are unable to move a certain distance. However, this does not guarantee that a far move from their original location won’t impact their custody arrangement.
If the distance is so far that a shared joint custody arrangement is not possible, the family court may look into the feasibility of offering a visitation agreement. This can support the other parent’s relocation needs while also helping them maintain a relationship with the child.
When the non-custodial parent makes the decision to move away from where they were originally living when the first custody arrangement was made, it could necessitate modifications to any custody or visitation agreements in place. The court may examine the nature of this move and reassess what custody structure can still ensure that a child’s well-being is not compromised.
Types of custody alterations that could happen include an adjustment to a visitation schedule that was developed after the couple’s divorce. For example, perhaps a child will spend an entire school year with one parent and then stay with the other parent who is moving away for summer vacations. If the child is homeschooled, this could offer more flexibility to maintain a similar type of custody arrangement to the one that existed before the move.
Family Code Section 3024 in California was designed to deal with situations where a parent with custody wants to change the permanent residence address for their child. This change could significantly impair the other parent’s ability to maintain a true shared custody arrangement or fulfill the requirements of their visitation agreement.
In these cases, Family Code Section 3024 instructs the moving parent to provide a written notice to the other parent at least 45 days before they plan to move. The code encourages this type of open communication to allow both parents to coordinate.
However, Family Code Section 3024 also allows ample time for the other parent to object to the move and plan for negotiations. It also provides enough time for both parents to secure a Carlsbad move-away lawyer before the 45 days are up, as they can help navigate the legal challenges and secure the most favorable outcome possible.
Request a confidential consultation with our Carlsbad, CA, move-away attorney by contacting Erica Bloom Law at (760) 683-8757.
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