Westlake Village Child Relocation Attorney

A difficult divorce (or uncoupling, in the case of unmarried parents) becomes even more devastating when there are minor children involved, especially if one parent wishes to relocate with the child to another city or even move to another state or country. Equitable terms regarding parenting time are generally one of the biggest sticking points in any divorce where spouses have children in common. For help with child custody and visitation issues in California, reach out to a competent and caring Westlake Village child relocation attorney who can guide you through the process while helping to ensure the best interest of your child(ren).

California Custody Orders

Being ordered to spend less than full time with your child can be difficult and may lead to a bevy of emotions among both parents, and the friction that is commonplace between divorcing/divorced couples when it comes to their shared children is usually ongoing. Divorce is a legal end to a marriage, but parenting is a lifelong endeavor. Trying to make things as smooth as possible as far as custody goes is a smart move for both parents.

In California, custody may be legal and/or physical. The courts generally grant both parents legal custody so that they can share in making decisions when it comes to the child’s care, education, and so on. Physical custody is a reference to who the child lives with, and one parent may have the child more than the other. For instance, in many arrangements, the child may live with the mother most of the time, and the father may see the child every other weekend.

The courts tend to decide that the best interests of the child are served when both parents are regular forces in the child’s life and afforded the opportunity to be around both parents as much as possible. This works well for many divorced couples, but sometimes one parent may need to relocate due to whatever reason—job requirements, to care for an aging parent, personal desire—and this does not always sit well with the other parent.

Custodial Rights in California

Regardless of how the noncustodial parent may feel about it, it is the custodial parent’s right to move to a new neighborhood or change residences whenever they decide to do so. The only real requirement under the law is that the parent provides a written notice of their intentions at least 45 days in advance of the move. This allows both parents to work out the details of a modified visitation agreement or new parenting plan. If the parent who is not moving decides to object to the move, then they have the right to do so in court.

When it comes to the relocation of a child and custodial parent, judges tend to look at whether the move would have a negative impact on the child. Some factors that will determine whether or not the courts agree to the move include the need for stability and continuity in the child’s life, the moving distance, any type of harm that might result from the move, and how the move will affect the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.

The Best Interest of the Child Standards

You may have become familiar with the term, the child’s best interest, as it is often thrown around a lot during child custody proceedings. A standard under California Law is used to determine what is in the child’s best interest. A judge will look at the following:

  • Preferences of the child
  • Age of the child
  • Relationship between the parents
  • History of neglect, violence, and abuse
  • Current living arrangements
  • Child’s school involvement
  • Community involvement of the child
  • The willingness of each parent to cooperate with the other
  • The ability of each parent to provide love, care, and affection to the child
  • Other relevant factors specific to your case

These are essential factors to be aware of since they can be used to determine whether or not you can relocate with or without your child. As a parent, you want your child’s best, and our Westlake Village child relocation attorney knows that. A job offer in another town should not be seen as a hindrance but instead as an opportunity to provide a better life for your child.

Move Away Cases

If you are moving out of state, finding the right balance and custody arrangement can be tough. It can be challenging moving. After custody has been established, you will need to provide the court with written notice of your planned move. This is especially important if you plan to move with the child. This needs to be done at least 45 days before the move, which gives all parties involved sufficient time to make arrangements and request any changes to the visitation schedule or current agreement.

A relocation hearing may need to be conducted to determine if this move is approved and how this will affect the child and the noncustodial parent. The court will need to determine if the reason for the move is one of the court-approved reasons. They will take the following into account when deciding:

  • The distance of the move
  • The reason for moving
  • The parental relationships with the child
  • The environment in the new location
  • Possible harm that can befall the child
  • Educational, physical, and emotional needs of the child
  • Any other relevant factors that make a difference for the best interests of the child

A move can enormously impact a child, especially if it is very soon after a divorce. The court will consider this as too many changes can be harmful to a child. The child’s stability is of the utmost importance, and that is what the court will harp on. Do not try to move with your child and not inform the court. This can lead to a court violation and other potential criminal charges. This is why you will need to have a Westlake Village child relocation attorney by your side who knows how the courts work and will help you win your case.

Need Help With Child Relocation?

Cases involving the relocation of a child can be quite complicated. Turn to the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, a seasoned Westlake Village child relocation attorney for help with your custody issues, including moving concerns. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-379-4550.

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