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Move Away & Relocation
Riverside Lawyer Representing Parents in Custody Actions
Typically, when parents share custody of a child, they will attempt to make the child’s transition from one home to another as easy as possible by living in close proximity to one another. In some cases in which parents share custody, though, one parent may wish to move to another city or state with the child despite their co-parent’s objections. Whether the courts permit a parent to relocate with a child depends on multiple factors, including what is in the child’s best interest. If you are involved in a dispute with your co-parent about where your child should reside, it is critical to seek the assistance of an attorney as soon as possible. Riverside child custody attorney Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, is proficient at helping parents protect their rights and the interests of their child, and if he represents you, he will advocate aggressively on your behalf. Mr. Haq regularly represents people in move away custody matters and other family law disputes in Riverside and San Bernadino.
The Right to Change a Child’s Residence
Pursuant to California Family Code Section 7501, parents entitled to the custody of their children have the right to change the children’s residence. Notably, under California law, unwed mothers automatically have full physical and legal custody over their children. Thus, if a child is born out of wedlock, the mother can determine where the child lives if the presumptive father does not take the legal steps to protect his rights.
Move Away Custody in Sole Custody Cases
If a parent wishes to move away with their child, they must file a move away request with the court that has jurisdiction over their custody case. The factors a court assesses in determining whether to grant such a request vary depending on the custody arrangement between the co-parents.
In cases in which the moving party has sole custody of a child, the party that wishes to move does not need to show that the move away is necessary; instead, the court will look at whether the move would be detrimental to the child and, if so, will deny the request. If a non-custodial parent objects to a move away request, they bear the burden of proving that a change in custody is essential for the child’s welfare and that the move would be harmful to the child, or that the request to move away was made in bad faith. In assessing whether a move would be damaging to a child’s well-being, the court will consider the impact the move will have on the child’s relationship with the other non-moving parent.
Move Away Custody in Joint Custody Cases
In cases in which parents share joint physical custody of a child, however, the court will assess a move away request under the best interest of the child standard. The courts will also employ this standard if a move away custody request is part of an initial custody determination. In evaluating what is in a child’s best interest, the court will look at the child’s age and their relationship with both parents, the child’s need for continuity and stability, and the distance of the move. The court will also examine the relationship between the parents, including whether they can cooperate and communicate appropriately, the reasons for the move, the current division of custody, and if the child is sufficiently mature, the child’s wishes.
Expert Evaluations in Move Away Custody Cases
In some cases, the court will find it necessary to order the parties to undergo evaluations to determine if a move will be in the child’s best interest. California Family Code Section 3111 permits courts to order child custody evaluations to aid in the determination of what is in a child’s best interests. The courts have the authority to order such evaluations in matters in which one party alleges the child is subject to sexual abuse or other abuse as well, under California Family Code Section 3118. When a court seeks an evaluation under either Section 3111 or 3118, it will typically appoint an independent expert pursuant to Evidence Code Section 730. After the evaluation is complete, the expert will issue a recommendation, which the court will consider when making its determination.
Talk to a Dedicated Riverside Child Custody Attorney About Your Options
When parents share custody of a child, one parent’s decision to move to a new city or state often leads to heated arguments. If you are faced with a disagreement over move away custody, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney to discuss your options. Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, is a dedicated Riverside child custody attorney who can inform you of your rights and help you to pursue an outcome that benefits your child while safeguarding your parental rights. We have an office conveniently located in Riverside, and we regularly represent people in custody matters in Riverside, San Bernadino, Corona, and other cities throughout Southern California. You can reach our firm by calling us at (909) 234-9789 or by using our online form to set up a confidential and free consultation to discuss your case.