divorce cases, a parent decides to
move away with the kids to start a new job or a new life. Whatever the reason may
be, when a parent wants to move, difficult decisions need to be made regarding
where the children will live and how the other parent will maintain a
relationship with them.
Sometimes, divorced parents can agree on where their kids should live and what the
visitation arrangements will be. Unfortunately, there are many times where parents
cannot agree, which means it will then be up to a court to make the ultimate decision.
Keep in mind, the court does not determine whether the parent can move.
Rather, the court has to decide whether the child should move with that
parent and, if so, what the visitation arrangements should be.
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody
The court’s approach to these decisions is based on whether the moving
parent has sole custody of the children or both parents share joint custody.
If one parent has sole custody, he or she has a “presumptive right”
to move with the child. This means that the other parent has the burden
of showing that the move would be detrimental to the child. While the
harmful effect the move will have on the relationship between the non-moving
parent and the child is important to consider, it is imperative to also
understand that this factor alone may not be enough to establish a detriment.
If the parent can make the initial showing that the move will have a harmful
impact on the kids, then the court will have a hearing to reconsider the
custody order and determine whether a change is in the best interests
of the children.
If the parents have joint custody, showing a change in circumstances is
not required for the court to change the custody order. Rather, the parents
come to court on even grounds and the court will hold an evidentiary hearing
to make a new custody decision based on the best interests of the child.
How a Westlake Village Divorce Lawyer Can Help
In conclusion, move-away cases are quite complex and hotly contested. Having
experienced legal representation is highly recommended if you desire a
successful alcohol. With more than 30 years of experience, I,
Jeffrey S. Graff, can evaluate your case and determine all of your legal options to obtain
the most favorable outcome possible.
For more information,
contact my firm and request a
free consultation today.