Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys



The Ins and Outs of Move-Away Cases

One of the most highly litigated areas in child custody cases is when a custodial parent decides to move away.

Hiring an experienced child custody lawyer and understanding the steps involved in these cases can help the process go smoothly if you find yourself needing to move, or facing a situation where your former spouse wants to move away with your children.

A Child Custody Overview

A court issues custody and visitation orders based on the children’s best interests when a couple separates or divorces in California.

“The court’s goal is to provide the opportunity for the children to have ongoing and frequent contact with both parents,” says John Griffith, a divorce attorney in Encinitas, CA.

Once a final custody order is in place, it can only be changed if a significant change of circumstances occurs that will require a change in custody for the child’s well-being, according to DivorceNet.com. Click on child custody to learn more.

Key Points to Remember in Move-Away Cases

When making the decision, the court must assume that the custodial parent will move whether or not the move-away is granted, says Griffith, who specializes in California divorce law.

“In other words, the court can’t deny the move-away in an effort to keep the moving parent from moving just because it’s better for the kids to have both parents in the same state,” he says.

The primary custodial parent has a presumed right to move out of the State of California. The burden is on the noncustodial parent to prove that it is in the best interests of the children that custody should be changed, should the custodial parent move out of state.

This type of case arises when a parent with joint or sole custody of the children plans to move to a location that is far enough away to disrupt the current custodial arrangement. The move will require new custody orders, so one parent must file a motion with the court.

The parent who is moving might file for permission to move with the children. The parent remaining in the area also could file the motion for a custody change. The court’s responsibility in these cases is not to allow or deny a parent’s wish to move; it’s to determine whether the children should be allowed to move with that parent and to modify visitation if necessary.

A number of factors are considered by the court, including the children’s ages, relationship with the parents, how far away the parent is moving, and where the child wants to live – provided the child is mature enough to make an informed choice.

When a move-away is granted, there is an automatic 30-day stay of the orders, which gives the losing parent time to appeal the decision.

“We recently won a move-away case after six months of litigation,” Griffith says.

Griffith represented a mother of five children who wanted to move to be closer to the family after learning of her husband’s infidelity. She also felt her career prospects would be better elsewhere.

“In my mind, it was clear what the result should be according to the law, as the mother had been a stay-at-home mother for the entire marriage and the father worked full time,” Griffith says. ”It wouldn’t make any sense to change custody to the father simply because the mother wanted to move. The other attorney saw it differently, but we ended up prevailing.”

Griffith calls these cases “very sad” and says it’s always important to be sensitive to the effect the outcome will have on the children. It is always best for parents to co-parent together on a daily basis, but in today’s day and age, it is not always feasible. If you need more information about divorce and family law, call the experienced child custody lawyers at Griffith, Young & Lass today → 858-371-5569

You can find more about the law and procedure involved in a child custody move away by clicking here

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  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq.
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to opening Griffith, Young & Lass, he worked as the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in North County San Diego.
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  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Catie E. Young excels in child custody cases and move-away trials. She has a unique approach to child custody cases and clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases. Since joining the firm, she has continuously brought her zeal and compassion to representing clients in child custody and domestic violence cases, and in December 2011, she became a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass.
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  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Amy Lass, a certified family law specialist, was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting. Amy went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006.
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  • Shirin Asgari, Esq. Shirin Asgari, Esq.

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    Attorney Shirin Asgari has a broad spectrum of legal experience and has handled matters in family law, criminal law, business law, and national security law. Currently, she focuses on family law matters and is a strong advocate for the rights of her clients. She dedicates time and attention to the needs of each client and the unique circumstances their case presents.
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  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.

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    Eric Cowdery earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before earning his JD from Golden Gate University as part of the Honors Lawyering Program. He was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2013 and has been working diligently in the field ever since. Taking a personalized approach to each case, Eric Cowdery is committed to working with clients to help them through the often confusing and complex legal process of divorce.

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  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq. Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.

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    Jeffrey Whittliff is extremely attentive to his cases and believes in thorough preparation and the value of regular client communication. Behind the scenes, he has an extensive background in research related to all areas of family law, propounding discovery when necessary, and negotiation to settle cases with opposing parties.
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  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.

    Associate

    Attorney Joshua Yeereceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of California, San Diego. Joshua went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Francisco. His experience working with a local Certified Family Law Specialist solidified his desire to become a family law attorney. Since becoming an attorney, Josh has exclusively practiced in family law.
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  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq. Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.

    Associate

    Shaudi Malekzadeh is a Carlsbad family law attorney at Griffith, Young & Lass, advocating for the rights and interests of Southern California families in a variety of family law cases, such as child custody, alimony, spousal support, and the division of community property. She is committed to delivering effective legal representation to our clients, aggressively advocating for their legal rights, and offering compassionate legal advice.
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