If you are considering relocating with your child, or believe your child’s other parent is considering relocation, you should contact a lawyer right away. These are complicated cases, and there are usually several variables that can influence a court’s decision. Also, the stakes are high for both parents and a skilled attorney will give you the best chance at getting the outcome you seek.
For the parent seeking to move away with his or her child, if you do not get approval and move anyway, the court may determine that you kidnapped your child. At the very least, the court will be disapproving of your failure to seek a new parenting plan.
For the non-moving parent, you could lose the frequent interaction you have with your child and also incur travel expenses.
General Relocation Rules
How a court handles a relocation case often depends on the type of custody arrangement already in place and each parent’s involvement in the child’s life.
If there is a permanent order for sole physical custody (or primary physical custody), the parent with sole physical custody will be able to move the child unless the other parent shows that moving the child would be harmful to him or her. Thus, in this situation, the burden is on the parent without sole physical custody.
If the parents have been awarded joint physical custody and one parent objects to the move, the parent seeking relocation has the burden to prove that the move is in the best interest of the child. Thus, in this situation, the burden is on the parent who is seeking to move.
While courts will give weight to the labels in the custody agreement (i.e., joint or sole), a court will also look at the parenting schedule that is being followed at the time of the relocation.
Virtual visitation has become popular in recent years for parents who do not live close to their children. During virtual visitation, parent and child can speak and see each other through a camera on a smartphone or computer. Virtual visitation would be part of a parenting plan ordered by the court or agreed to by the parties.
Contact a San Jose Relocation Lawyer
Our firm has handled many relocation cases, and have the knowledge and experience to advocate for your position in court. We have seen a number of custody arrangements in practice and understand what outcomes will work best for you and your family. Contact a knowledgeable San Jose, CA child custody attorney at Dominion Law Group, LLP at 408-288-5592 to learn more about what our firm can do for you.
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