When you enter into a child custody or visitation arrangement with a spouse before finalizing your divorce in California, you should understand that the terms of the arrangement may not be permanent. Various factors can result in the terms being modified in the future.
For example, perhaps you have custody of your children, and your ex has visitation rights. Maybe you decide you want to move away and take the children with you. If your new home will be relatively far from your current one, this will naturally impact the degree to which your ex can spend time with the kids.
California law requires that parents who plan on moving out of state inform courts a minimum of 45 days prior to their moves to ensure modifications to existing custody and visitation arrangements can be made. Additionally, you must consider the fact that your ex may attempt to demonstrate to the court that the move would negatively impact your children.
You should therefore be prepared to show why this isn’t the case. Potential reasons you can cite for moving out of state with your children include the following:
Perhaps you’re moving due to a new job opportunity that will result in a significant increase to your income. Naturally, if you’re a custodial parent, earning more money will allow you to better provide for your children. This is a factor you might point out when explaining to the court why this move is in the best interests of your children.
Courts will sometimes account for the preference of a child when determining if allowing a custodial parent to move out of state with said child is wise. This is typically the case when a child is a teenager and can show they are mature enough to make this decision on their own.
Your child might not be old enough to offer valuable insights into how they feel about this move. If they are, though, and they believe moving with you is for the best, you could use their statements to bolster your argument.
Perhaps you and your ex are the only family members your children currently live near. Moving out of state might allow you to move closer to your family. This could provide both you and your children with greater access to the support that family and relatives may provide.
The main point to understand is that courts always prioritize the best interests of the children when making decisions regarding child custody modifications. You need to show the court that your children will benefit and won’t face significant challenges if they accompany you when you relocate to another state.
Your chances of presenting a strong case to the court will be greater if you have proper legal representation. That’s exactly what we offer at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi. To learn more about what a Westlake Village child custody modifications attorney can do for you, contact us online or call us at 805-379-4550.