There are many situations in which a divorced Los Angeles parent with sole or joint custody of his or her children may decide to move away or relocate – to pursue higher education, to be closer to family or to accept a promotion or reassignment at work. When this occurs, the other parent may be concerned about how a move may affect the existing custody or visitation arrangement and may take steps to prevent the children from being relocated. Our skilled attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have experience representing divorced parents on both sides of this situation, and we understand how important it is to find a fair and amicable solution for all parties involved. Whether you are seeking to move away with your children or you want to prevent the other parent from relocating with your children, we can help. Contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles today at (213) 550-4600 for a free initial child custody and relocation consultation.
Affordable Los Angeles Relocation Attorney
Parental relocation is an important factor to consider in terms of divorce and child custody agreements in Los Angeles. Often, when parents divorce, one parent will decide to move to another city or state, and if that parent has sole physical custody or joint legal custody of his or her children, the move can end up causing a serious dispute with the other parent. Depending on the terms of your child custody and parental visitation agreement, you may be able to request permission from the court to relocate with your children to another city or state. However, the court is given broad discretion when determining the outcome of Los Angeles relocation cases. As such, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side when filing or challenging a parental move-away petition in California. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles understand that the well-being of the children affected by a parent’s relocation should be the main focus in any child custody dispute, and we will work tirelessly to help you and the other parent devise a practical solution that all parties can agree on and one that takes into consideration the best interests of the children.
Your Parental Rights in California Move-Away Situations
A relocation or move-away case in Los Angeles occurs when one divorced parent asks for permission from the court to move his or her children far enough away that the relocation disrupts an established custodial or parental visitation agreement, meaning the other parent would be prevented from having or seeing the children as often as the existing custody arrangement allows.
The rights of each divorced parent in California move-away or relocation situations depends on the terms of the custody agreement established by the court. For instance, under California Family Code § 7501, a parent with sole physical custody of his or her children has the presumptive right to change the children’s residence, so long as the relocation doesn’t “prejudice the rights or welfare” of the children. In fact, the so-called custodial parent in this situation doesn’t even have to show any “necessity” to move, assuming that he or she is moving in good faith. For a noncustodial parent to challenge a relocation in this situation, he or she would have to request a custody modification from the court by proving a substantial change in circumstances that makes a change of custody necessary to the welfare of the children. In situations where the divorced parents have joint legal custody, or where no final custody order has been issued, it is up to the court to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the children and rule on the move-away matter on the basis of that decision.
What the Court Considers in Relocation Hearings
If you are divorced and you share custody or your children’s other parent has visitation rights, and you are considering moving with your children, you will be required to file a move-away petition with the Los Angeles family court. Generally speaking, in California relocation proceedings, the court will consider the effect the move is expected to have on the children in question as the primary factor in deciding the case. Among the factors the court will consider in a Los Angeles relocation case are:
- The children’s health and well-being
- The parent’s financial stability
- The reason for the move
- The distance of the move
- The age of the children
- The children’s wishes, depending on their ages
- The impact the move will have on the children’s relationship with the noncustodial parent
- The psychological impact of the move on the children
- The social impact of the move on the children
- The parents’ existing custody arrangement
- The impact of the move on the children’s education
How an Experienced Move-Away and Relocation Lawyer Can Help
In the state of California, what the court deems to be in the best interests of the children in question has a significant bearing on all child custody decisions, and the judge presiding over your Los Angeles relocation case has a great deal of discretion when determining how to rule on such cases. There are also important issues that can complicate the outcome of parental move-away cases, including the modification of custody and visitation agreements and the potential for one parent’s relocation to violate the custodial rights of the other parent. For these reasons and others, it is imperative that you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who has experience litigating Los Angeles divorce relocation cases, whether you are the parent who wants to move away with your children or the parent who wishes to oppose the other parent’s relocation.
The separation of a household following a Los Angeles divorce and the ensuing custody battle can be traumatic enough for both the parents and children involved. Add in a significant geographical relocation, and the process can become even more stressful. There are many different factors that will play into the court’s decision in relocation and move-away cases in California, and having a team of experienced Los Angeles family law lawyers on your side can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in court. Our family law attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles are committed to protecting the custodial rights of divorced parents in Los Angeles, and we will do everything we can to help you reach a favorable solution to your relocation issue.
Free Parental Relocation Consultation in Los Angeles
It’s not hard to imagine how one parent relocating children away from their other parent can be the cause of contention between the former spouses, and how a case involving such contentious issues can end up at trial. Regardless of the actual distance of the move, if a parent’s relocation adversely impacts the agreed-upon custody arrangement, it could end up being a matter that must be decided on by the court. Whether you are the parent requesting a new custody or visitation order to allow for a move, or the parent challenging a relocation order in Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have extensive experience handling all types of family law situations in Southern California, including those resolved during negotiation, in third-party mediation or at trial, and we can help you get the best possible outcome in your California move-away case. Contact our legal team today at (213) 550-4600 to discuss your legal options with a qualified Los Angeles divorce lawyer.