Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Child custody matters and relocation decisions are important

The term "divorce" has a ring of finality and yet the family's situation may change radically after a divorce. An Orange, California, parent with custody over a child may need to relocate out of the immediate area or out of state. However, before a parent makes the decision to relocate, the parent must consider the most important factor a court will consider before allowing relocation, the best interests of the child.

Every state, including California, has laws addressing relocation and a parent may need to consult an attorney before seeking approval for moving. The first and foremost factor that the court will consider is whether the move will be in the best interest of the child. Will relocation benefit the child? Will a support system be in place that will benefit the child? The best interest of the child also factors in if the child would be able to stay in touch with the non-custodial parent.

In tune with the best interests of the child, another question the court will ask is if the parent keen on relocation has individual personal plans. These plans are important as they relate to the child's best interests. How will the parent support the child? If the custodial parent is a mother, then the next question may address if the custodial parent is pregnant and relocating to another town with a new spouse.

When a parent expresses the desire for relocation, the court would also want to determine if the move is a deliberate move to discontinue the child's contact with the non-custodial parent. This determination rests on evidence presented to the court. If the court realizes that the main intention of the custodial parent is to break the child's connection with the non-custodial parent, relocation maybe most definitely impacted by the court's decision that relocation is not in the best interest of the child.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Your Legal Rights to Relocate Your Child," Caroline Choi, Aug. 20, 2014

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