Recent Changes in Family Law Move-Away Cases: (1) Navigating Between the "Best Interests of the Child" Rule and the "Changed Circumstances" Rule and (2) Courts Required to Assume that Parent Will Absolutely Move
Los Angeles Child Custody Lawyer
During the divorce process and even long after, child custody and visitation issues can weigh heavily on the mind of a parent. For your peace of mind and the well-being of your children, these issues need to be resolved in a fair manner that encourages a safe, healthy and positive living arrangement.
At Cooper-Gordon LLP, we work to achieve our clients' child custody and visitation goals.
We represent clients in family law matters involving:
- Child custody
- Visitation and parenting time
- Modifications in custody and visitation
- Parent move-aways
- Paternity as it relates to visitation
- Child custody appellate actions
Going separate ways after divorce can mean that one or both parties relocate to another town, another state or even outside of the United States. When children are involved, this separation can lead to a highly contested battle over custody and visitation.
The family law attorneys of Cooper-Gordon LLP have extensive experience in relocation disputes, at the time of separation or long after a divorce. We represent parents in Santa Monica, the South Bay, West L.A. and the greater Los Angeles area who are petitioning to relocate with their children, as well as parents who object to the proposed move. Although our goal is to settle cases in order to achieve the highest level of client satisfaction, when a case is contested, we are prepared to represent our clients zealously in court to protect their interests.
The parent who wants to relocate must demonstrate a legitimate reason, such as a new job, family support or remarriage, and the move must be in the best interests of the child. A parent who opposes the move likewise has a burden to show a detriment to the child or intent to cut the non-custodial parent out of the picture.
Relocation law and litigation is very complex and always changing. Even as recently as this summer, there have been changes to the law in move-away cases and nonparent visitation cases. Parental relocation cases are anything but simple, but they do not have to be expensive and contentious courtroom battles. The attorneys at Cooper-Gordon LLP help clients understand their rights and how a judge would most likely rule. We help clients understand the impact of the relocation on their child(ren) and the child(ren)'s relationship with the other parent. With the use of experts or negotiating with the opposing party we can help create creative, workable solutions for complicated situations.
We have handled relocations within Los Angeles and to other parts of California, as well as the more complicated scenarios of interstate or international relocations. Move-away cases typically require modification of the original custody order. New parenting plans generally address the following:
- Increased visitation in the summer
- Holidays and vacations
- Shared costs of travel
- Exchanges (pick-up/drop-off)
- Communication (via e-mail, telephone, and skype) between visits
- Joint parenting decisions
Through negotiation or mediation, we help parents prioritize the needs of their children while creating parenting plans in order to avoid costly litigation. When the other parent is unreasonable or has impure motives for seeking or challenging a move, the attorneys at Cooper-Gordon LLP will vigorously represent their clients' interests in order to protect the best interests of the children involved.
California Child Custody Law
In all matters involving child custody, our state has one overriding objective — to further the best interests of the child. Unless there are reasons to do otherwise, that means that the state will seek a solution that will enable both parents to participate in the child's upbringing.
California courts will usually favor:
Joint legal custody — where the parents share decisions about the child's health care, education, religious upbringing and extracurricular activities.
Shared physical custody — in which the child lives primarily with one parent while the other is allowed visitation or parenting time.
However, the court can decide otherwise if presented with compelling evidence. Cooper-Gordon LLP will work with you toward your child custody and visitation aims and the needs of your child or children. We will then develop a legal strategy designed to achieve your aims through negotiation, mediation or, if needed, by litigation.
The law regarding child custody has been changing rapidly. More on these developments can be found in our Recent Developments in Child Custody Law page.
For a consultation with a child custody lawyer at Cooper-Gordon LLP, call 800-561-6322, or contact us online. We offer initial consultations at a reduced rate.