How does California family law address parental relocation?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2019 | Family Law

Child custody is one of the most complex issues in California family law. When there is a divorce and the parents are trying to get as much time with the children as possible, it can be made even more difficult if a parent decides to move away and relocate. This can impact visitation and more. It is a fundamental requirement to understand what the law says about parental relocation following a divorce.

A parent with sole physical custody has the right to move away without the other parent’s permission. The other parent must show that the move would be detrimental to the child. However, the duration of the move is critical. Whether it is temporary or permanent will affect the case. For parents who have a joint physical custody agreement, a parent who objects to the move has more of a right to do so and prevent it. The parent who wants to move must prove that the move will be in the child’s best interests. Parenting schedules are a critical factor in how the court will assess the case.

When the move has been completed, the parent who lives in the previous location should know about adjusting the visitation plan accordingly. This will ensure that the parents have the same amount of time with the child as they did before. This requires flexibility and understanding.

Parents who reside in different states are subject to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). With this law, once a court has decided on custody, other states must adhere to it. A state can make child custody decisions in one of the following situations: it is the child’s “home state” and he or she lived there for the previous six months; the child has substantial connections in the state; the child is there and was abandoned or a possible victim of abuse or neglect; or no other state meets one of these criteria or the state that does meet one of these criteria decides to decline the custody case.

When there is an attempt to move away with a child, it will be a difficult issue to sort through. Both parents must consider the best interests of the child when this is a problem. To protect the child’s interests and adhere to the rights of the parents, having help from an experienced family law firm can help.

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