Los Angeles Child Relocation Lawyer
One of the most difficult decisions to make as a parent sharing custody of your child is whether a prospective relocation is in his or her best interest. Although some relocations will not affect visitation arrangements, others may drastically change the nature of court-ordered custody. If you are considering making a long distance move or are facing the prospect of losing visitation rights as a result of such a move, contact an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney immediately. In many cases, a lawyer will have a significant impact on the way your case is resolved and can help you take steps to ensure that the outcome you are seeking is put into place.
California Child Relocation Law
California courts often refer to child relocation cases as “move away” cases, and the law in this area is very complex. If you have “sole physical custody” of your child and the arrangement is not temporary, you generally have the right to make a long distance move. In order to prevent the move, the non-custodial parent will have to challenge the move in court and prove that the move would not be in the best interest of the child. If you share custody of your children and one parent disapproves of the move, appearing in a Los Angeles Court is almost unavoidable.
Analyzing the Best Interest of the Child
If a non-custodial parent or a parent with joint custody is challenging a long distance move, the court must analyze whether the move is in the “best interest of the child.” In doing so, California law requires courts to analyze the following factors:
- The child’s age
- The child’s relationship with the parents
- The child’s preference
- The stability of current and proposed living arrangements
- The child’s current school, social, and family environment
- The future ability of the parents to cooperate
- The history of domestic violence, and
- Any other factor the court deems relevant to the child’s well-being
As the court has authority to analyze nearly any factor as it relates to the well-being of your child, child “move away” cases can quickly become complex and contentious. Further, such cases may drag on for an extended period of time during which you will not be permitted to make a long distance move. Accordingly, contacting a Los Angeles child relocation attorney early in the process can greatly increase your chances of making a smooth transition.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
California adheres to what is known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which sets standards for when a state may and may not decide a child relocation action. Contrary to intuition, if you move with a child and the relocation is challenged, the proper venue is in the state where the child has lived for the last six months. There are certain exceptions to this general rule, such as if the child was abused in the previous “home state,” but such determinations are complex and require attorney assistance.
How an Attorney Can Help in Child Relocation Cases
Whether you are trying to relocate with your child or you want to prevent a proposed relocation, the assistance of a Los Angeles family law lawyer is critical to the success of your case. Determining the best interests of the child is a complicated matter and California law gives judges significant discretion when deciding what would actually be in a child’s best interests. For this reason, it is critical to have the assistance and representation of a lawyer who is familiar with the way that Los Angeles County family law courts operate.
When you retain a Los Angeles family law attorney, they will thoroughly evaluate your situation as well as the situation of your child’s other parent. Using this information, your lawyer will formulate arguments that support your position regarding a proposed relocation. In addition, he or she may conduct an investigation into the potential benefits or drawbacks of the proposed move in order to present additional information to the court in support of your position.
Contact a Los Angeles Child Relocation Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Child relocation cases are some of the most complex and emotionally draining matters litigated throughout the legal system. Accordingly, hiring an experienced child relocation attorney is essential, and you should not contact simply any attorney. The Los Angeles family law lawyers at Furman & Zavatsky LLP have the experience you need to assist you in either making or preventing your child from making a long distance relocation. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney at our law firm, call our lawyers today at 818-528-3471