Coronavirus Update

In response to rapidly developing public announcements related to Coronavirus, Cage & Miles can support consults and cases remotely due to our cutting edge technology for all employees and our cloud based firm management system. Our people can work remotely on all facets of client cases. In the unfortunate event that one or more of our people are exposed to the virus, our clients’ work does not need to stop. All client files are uploaded, secured and safely backed up on the cloud. We have contingency plans in place at our two offices to see that correspondence from the court, case professionals, opposing counsel, and service providers gets uploaded to our clients’ secured cloud file so our people can work remotely. We are ready, willing and able to keep your case moving forward during these uncertain times. Please contact us if you have questions about how public announcements affect your case. Please click here for more resources.

Child Custody & Relocation

After a divorce is finalized, parents may decide to move because of a new job opportunity, to be closer to extended family for support, or because they cannot afford to live in the area. So what happens to the current custody order if relocation occurs?

In California, a custodial parent (i.e. the parent with primary physical custody) is allowed to move with a child if it doesn’t interfere with the child’s rights or best interests. If a parent plans to relocate with a child for over 30 days, he/she must provide a written notice at least 45 days prior to the proposed move in order to work with the other parent on a new agreement for custody or visitation. The parent who isn’t moving has an opportunity to file an objection and even request a modification if necessary.

In the event of an objection to relocation, the court will schedule a hearing where a judge will either approve or disapprove the move and/or decide if a change in custody or visitation. The noncustodial parent must demonstrate that the move would be harmful to the child’s best interests and that a custody change is necessary.

The following are the common factors a judge will consider when determining a change in custody:

  • The distance of the proposed relocation
  • The child’s relationship with both parents
  • The child’s need for stability and consistency
  • The parent’s ability to co-parent
  • The custodial parent’s reasons for relocating
  • Any potential harm from a custody change
  • Any potential harm to the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent
  • How the move will meet the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs
  • If the child’s extended family members are in the community of the new location
  • Any other factors dealing with the child’s best interests

The main goal is to come up with a custody and visitation arrangement that will be best for the child and enable them to have a continuing relationship with his/her parents, despite the distance. Relocation cases are often complex and challenging, especially if the noncustodial parent objects to the move. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side to access the situation and develop an effective plan to obtain the outcome you desire.

If you are interested in relocating with your child after divorce in Southern California, contact our San Diego divorce attorneys at Cage & Miles, LLP today.