The Modern “Move-Away” Family
American family life has rapidly evolved in the past few decades. At one time in the not-too-distant past, it was expected that a husband and wife would make their home in a community and remain there as they raised their children. As divorce rates increased, so did the break-up of the nuclear family, dispersing parents and children across cities, states, and sometimes countries.
The divorced parents usually sought to build a new life, away from the place where their previous one was constructed. In recent years, the U.S. economy has swung toward a mobile workforce, enabling workers to move relatively easily with job demands. This has created freedom from limiting regional ideas and cultures, and has created a more unifying culture that spreads from coast to coast.
However, there are some aspects of this change in society that have had a negative impact, leaving parents and children in difficult situations. For instance, how are custody rulings affected when a divorced parent must relocate for financial purposes? What if the parent who is moving is the primary custodial parent of the child? On that point, are the ages of the child or children relevant to how custody decisions are made? What if one of the parents is remarrying? Most importantly, what is in the best interest of the child and who makes that determination?
Custody matters can be messy, and few domestic situations can be as emotionally taxing and financially devastating as a child custody move-away case. Here are a few pertinent things to keep in mind:
- Every divorce and custody agreement has unique details that can have an effect on a court’s ruling when one of the parents is moving away—with or without the child. There’s no one-size-fits-all advice.
- Sole custody and joint custody rulings have great impact on the court’s move-away decision when looking at the specifics of each case.
- Parenting plans and visitation arrangements can be legally altered to suit the interests of all parties, and will hopefully be mutually agreed on, though that’s not always the case.
- Internet and smartphone technologies provide a new way to stay in touch with children, and the courts are aware of that.
- As always, what is best for the child or children is paramount in the court’s judgment.
If you are involved in a move-away custody case, whether it’s over state lines or out of the country, it’s important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your parental rights. Thomas M. Huguenor, founding attorney of Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., has been a certified specialist in family law in California since 1981. Give our San Diego child custody lawyers a call today at (858) 458-9500, or contact us online to set up a free consultation.