What will happen to child custody and parenting time when a parent moves away from San Diego? How is child custody determined when the co-parents will reside in different states? This may happen during the course of the divorce itself or in the months and years which follow. What do you need to know to protect your interests?
Generally speaking, when a divorce is completed in California the Family Court where the case was heard retains “legal jurisdiction” over the case. What does this mean if a parent wishes to move out-of-state and take the child(ren)?
The parties must either work to resolve the situation through mediation or appear before the Court. A parent must have written authorization from both the Court as well as the other co-parent to take their child(ren) and move out of the area. A co-parent who attempts to relocate with the children without the advanced authorization of the Court will face severe sanctions up to and including the loss of all child custody and parenting time rights.
Every state in the US (with the exception of Massachusetts) has adopted the Unform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act or UCCJEA. One of the reasons for the development of the UCCJEA was to prevent a parent from taking children, moving to another state and attempting to establish jurisdiction over custody and parenting time in that new state.
There are complex laws which govern how the jurisdictional Court will handle these types of cases. The original Court almost always reserves the jurisdiction to determine what will happen to child custody and parenting time when a parent moves away.
The Court will consider a variety of factors which include but are not limited to:
- The best interests of the child(ren)
- The presence of a support network for the child(ren) such as family, grandparents, friends, teachers, and health care.
- The financial impact of the move on the ability to care for and support the child(ren)
The issues surrounding child custody and parenting time when a parent moves away are quite legally complex. This is why it is important to immediately seek advice from the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.