Moving into a new home, new city, or new state is a common life event for many families. However, for parents who share custody, relocation can pose several challenges. An experienced Laguna Beach move away lawyer can help families understand the potential legal hurdles and ramifications and can guide them through the process to ensure a favorable outcome that aligns with the well-being of the child.
The team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, has over four decades of experience helping families in Laguna Beach and throughout Orange County navigate California family law while establishing living situations that meet everyone’s needs and adhere to state regulations. We provide personalized and compassionate advocacy that demonstrates to the court the ways in which your position aligns with the welfare of your child.
For Laguna Beach parents with primary custody of their child, California family law allows families to relocate under certain conditions. A custodial parent will have their move away request approved if the following criteria are met:
Custodial parents have a presumptive right to move, but this approval is not automatic. However, courts will generally approve cases that are clearly in line with the child’s well-being.
Non-custodial parents also have a right to contest the relocation if they don’t agree to the move. In these cases, that parent would file an objection with the court and provide their reasoning for how the move would be detrimental to the child’s welfare or would violate their rights. If the court agrees with the non-custodial parent, they could deny the move away request and bar the custodial parent from proceeding.
Primarily, the court’s concern is for the well-being of the child and will grant or deny the request based on what it determines is in the interest of the child. To discern this, they will consider some combination of the following:
The court considers the ways in which the move could potentially impact the following:
Each parent will have an opportunity to present their reasoning and justification to the court for consideration. Because of the potentially significant impact such a court decision could have on a family’s future, it is imperative that you work closely with a family law attorney if you are considering pursuing a move away request.
Every move away case is unique, and courts will be looking at the specific details of your case. An experienced attorney understands what they are looking for and has the skills to effectively advocate on your behalf. Your attorney can navigate the legal requirements and deadlines, helping ensure your request adheres to all applicable laws. Finally, a move away lawyer can protect your rights, especially in cases of unsubstantiated objections that unfairly seek to prevent a beneficial move from proceeding.
A: If you maintain custody or visitation rights with your child, you can legally object to a proposed move by your ex that would take your child away from you. The actual decision on whether to allow the move rests with the court to discern what is in the interest of the child’s welfare, but they will consider your objections, weighing them against the other parent’s reasons for relocating.
A: When the non-custodial parent moves away, there are several potential consequences that could impact the overall well-being of the child. First, modifications may need to be made to visitation or parenting time plans, resulting in less frequent visits. Second, child support arrangements may need to be reviewed. Lastly, negotiations and potential modifications will need to be made to sort out who will bear the travel costs required for the child to maintain contact.
A: When parents have joint custody in California, they must each be cognizant of how a move will impact the well-being of their child, for good or ill. While there is no set distance established, any move must not disrupt the custody arrangement or the relationship the child has with either parent. One or both parents can relocate if they reach an agreement and the court approves. Otherwise, the court will consider what is most beneficial to the child.
A: California has no set age at which a child can choose which parent with whom to live. However, the state takes the child’s preference into consideration in determining what arrangement will be most beneficial. Older and more mature children’s desires will carry more weight in this determination. Generally, court officials may interview children in their homes rather than in a courtroom to obtain their wishes without the influence of the unusual or intimidating setting.
Parents with joint custody can experience challenges when attempting to move away with their children, especially if the move away is out of state. Doing so can have a significant impact on both the existing custody arrangements and the well-being of the child. The qualified and experienced team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, can help guide you through this process if you are considering a relocation. Contact our office today for more details.
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