Knowledgeable Representation In Child Relocation Matters
Ultimately, it is best for children to maintain healthy relationships with both parents whenever possible. This is why I work so hard to preserve and protect the parental relationships of fathers with their children.
Courts recognize that fathers, as well as mothers, have certain rights when it comes to being a part of their child’s life. This means in the event of the possibility of your child moving far away from you, there needs to be some type of an agreement between both mother and father regarding your custody and visitation rights. If there is a court order already in place establishing your paternal rights, express consent is required from you prior to any moves. If no orders are in place, you will have to take certain steps in order to establish your paternity before entering a dispute in court about relocation.
I am attorney Stephanie Story, and I have provided representation for fathers caught up in child custody, visitation and relocation disputes, even international “move-aways,” since opening my law practice. When facing such disputes, I will take the necessary steps to make certain courts honor your interests and the interests of your children during disputes concerning relocation.
Factors Concerning Child Relocation
As relocation will obviously impact your ability to carry on a relationship with your child, your input into such activities is extremely important. The court’s main concern is the “best interests of the child.” I believe that includes having a father in their life. Because your interests as a father count, there is an elaborate process in place concerning relocation of the child (See In Re Marriage of La Musga (2004) 32 Cal.4 th 1072). There are many factors involved in this process, some of which include:
- There must be mediation of any relocation disputes prior to holding any hearing in front of a judge.
- Should mediation prove unsuccessful in resolving disputes, a judge will review any existing agreements or orders pertaining to child custody and visitation.
- Should there be a need for modification of any existing orders, a motion is then made to modify these agreements or orders allowing for a change in the child’s living arrangements.
- The court will then examine the following: (1) how the move-away will impact the child’s stability; (2) the distance the child would move away; (3) the child’s age; (4) the relationship of the child with both parents; (5) the reason such a move is taking place; and (6) any proposed visitation schedule once the relocation takes place.
- As the best interests of the child require consideration, courts sometimes will ask the child their opinion regarding relocation through minor’s counsel, a child custody evaluator, or even a child interview. Children 14 years of age and older are considered old enough to testify, if necessary.
When retaining me as a family law lawyer to represent you in a relocation matter, I will provide you with guidance and competent representation every step of the way. I will file the necessary motions and tell your side of the story during all mediation and court hearings. Should changed circumstances arise, I will also argue for a modification of existing orders, all with the best interests of your child in mind.