Tinero, Aharonov and Associates Tinero, Aharonov and Associates A Family Law Practice, LLP

Moving away can complicate divorce child custody arrangement

Following a divorce involving children in California, moving is not a simple affair. California law seeks to safeguard parent-child relationships and parental rights, and moving can have a major impact on such relationships and rights. For this reason, before you can move with your child after a divorce, you must provide sufficient justification to get the relocation approved by the court.

Once your and your former spouse's divorce decree has been finalized and the court has signed off on it, it is intended to be permanent, official and binding. This is why a move away can be so challenging: it may hinder a parenting agreement or a divorce decree's visitation and child custody provisions. For instance, if you move to a different state, the other parent -- who does not have custody of the children -- will not be able to enjoy weekend visits with the children.

The problems that a move away can cause are especially major when you and your ex-spouse have a child who is very young, as bonding with parents is particularly important at a young age. However, a relocation can still happen by obtaining a modification of your original divorce decree. One way in which to achieve this modification is through negotiation, where you and your former spouse work on a new agreement regarding visitation and child custody.

Mediation is another process that may help you to modify your divorce decree if you and your spouse may not totally be in agreement regarding child custody but are willing to try to find common ground. However, if you and your spouse still cannot see eye to eye after negotiation or mediation, then litigation is your only option. An attorney in this situation in California will represent your particular interests vigorously in an effort to attain the best possible outcome.

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