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Under what circumstances will the court modify child custody?

This is a follow-up on our previous blog post (TV star's child custody battle continues after ex's relocation), about Kelly Rutherford's legal battle. This follows a child custody modification that gave her ex-husband custody of their children when he relocated to a different country. California parents who are faced with a situation where the relocation of one parent will affect the parent-child relationship may benefit from understanding California's child custody and relocation laws.

It is not uncommon for situations to arise where one parent wants to relocate because of job prospects, military services or other reasons; and that parent needs to confer with the family court, which will consider the best interests of the children. Because some parents decide to relocate merely as a way of punishing an ex-spouse, the court will take the motivation for the move into consideration. In addition, the distance could be a determining factor in whether a custody modification might be granted.

The relationship between children and parents will play a large role in the court’s ruling, and the ages of the children will also be considered. When children are old enough to express their wishes, the court may be interested in their feelings about existing arrangements, along with their preferences. Each relocation situation is unique and present different factors for the court’s consideration; however, the best interests of the children will remain the most important consideration.

A California parent who is considering relocation, along with a parent who challenges the move, may benefit from consulting [url='/Child-Custody/’]our website[/url] as they consider their options for either seeking relocation or challenging a move, respectively. This could help them as they consider how to present their child custody argument to the family court in a competent and concise manner. Successful presentation may lead to a court ruling that suits the needs of both parents, along with the best interests of the children.

Source: FindLaw, "Understanding California's Child Custody and Relocation Laws", , Aug. 24, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Understanding California's Child Custody and Relocation Laws", , Aug. 24, 2014

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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