Relocating & Modifying Custody and Visitation in California
Relocation is something that everybody experiences at least once in their lives and it’s something that can happen even to a divorced parent. There could be a range of reasons why a divorced parent might relocate with their kids. They might simply want a change of scene or move closer to friends and family.
However, relocation can cause problems for the non-custodial parent, especially in the visitation/custody side of things.
When to File
The non-custodial parent can file for modification at any time. The court may deem such a modification necessary if it is in line with the child’s best interests. The parent must be able to indicate a “significant change of circumstances” to support the request for modification.
However, all said and done, it is still not that easy to modify primary custody. In most cases, the primary order is seen as correct. However, there are certain conditions under which this can be challenged.
For starters, modification can be sought, as mentioned earlier, if it is in the child’s best interest. Here, best interests can encompass a range of factors. One of the key factors usually considered is contact with both parents and family stability.
Even the child’s preference can be considered by the courts. In fact, California does not follow an age cut-off rule like other states. So, the child’s age will not be a major hindrance. However, the judge’s own interpretation may play a role here. Most judges tend to ignore the opinions of children aged below 7.
Another factor that plays a role here includes co-parenting skills. Judges generally don’t side with a parent who is unwilling or unable to help the child build a healthy relationship with the non-custodial parent. So, there is hope if it can be proven that the relocation was done to get away from the non-custodial parent.
Get in Touch with a Lawyer
Though achievable, the modification of a child custody/visitation order can be a tricky process. So, the best way to move forward is to get in touch with a lawyer who is experienced in such matters. An experienced lawyer can guide you on how to go about this.
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