How The “California Exodus” Impacts Child Custody?

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation Family Law

The “California Exodus” may be a bit of an overreaction, but the state did see more departures than arrivals to the Golden State in 2020. More than 267,000 people left California compared to about 128,000 people moving in from other states.

This migration can have a huge effect on child custody, causing parents to have to modify their existing divorce agreements where visitation and custody arrangements are concerned. If you find yourself needing to move and a relocation modification to your divorce agreement, you should call the family law attorneys of the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi in Westlake Village.

Causes of the migration?

The 2020 census results illustrate the population decline is a decades-long trend. California has seen fewer births and more deaths since 2010. Fewer international immigrants are calling California home, and the living and housing costs have gone from high to ridiculous.

Since the early 2010s, a little more than six million people moved away, while a little less than five million have moved to California. The numbers also show that the people leaving are middle- and lower-income residents while the state is gaining higher-wage earners.

These higher-wage earners are also younger and college-educated, searching for career opportunities, while the middle class is moving out to get ahead financially.

According to the current population survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), the state of housing costs has made one-third of Californians seriously consider leaving, and most movers cite economic reasons for moving.

The impacts on the family

Many of these moving families have been affected by divorce. When child custody gets factored into this equation, it can get difficult and often result in confrontations.

Filing a relocation modification to your existing visitation and custody arrangements requires close evaluation by the court. There are numerous factors the court will evaluate before granting a relocation modification, including:

  1. The extent of shared custody: Parents requesting a move usually have at least 70% of physical custody, but this condition does not guarantee a relocation request
  2. Reasons for the move: The court evaluates why you are moving
  3. Distance: The court evaluates the distance of the move and the details concerning visitation
  4. Age of the children
  5. Child’s wishes: If over the age of six, the child will be interviewed by the mediator
  6. Stability and continuity: The court will evaluate the ability of parents to provide a safe and stable living environment
  7. Child/parent relationships: The court frowns upon relocation hurting the relationship of the child with either parent
  8. Relationship between the parents: The court wants to see both parents putting the child’s interests first in any arrangement

When should I contact a lawyer?

This type of case requires skilled representation to develop creative solutions that always keep in mind the best interests of the child. With two decades of experience, attorney Stephanie L. Mahdavi is here to find the best possible resolution.

To schedule a consultation to discuss your relocation or move-away needs, contact Westlake Village’s family law attorneys of the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi by clicking here or calling 805-379-4550.

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