Custody disputes are complicated enough within the same state. Add having to cross state lines to the mix and these types of disputes can become lengthy and drawn out. At R & S Law Group, LLP, we get asked about this type of situation a lot. This is particularly true these days as people are more willing than ever to relocate for job opportunities, etc.
For this post, we wanted to cover some of the main issues that need to be hashed out between parents who are trying to hash out interstate custody issues. Remember, no two situations are alike and this information is meant to be general. For legal advice pertaining to your needs, always take the time to consult with an attorney, someone who is well-equipped to help walk you through your custody issues in CA.
Determining the Home State
First of all, you should determine if the case is going to be addressed by the family law courts in CA, or by the corresponding courts in another state. This is assessed via the home state of the child, which is based on his/her residence during the last six months before the legal proceedings began. The dispute will be heard in the home state, with all local and state laws applying to the proceedings.
Looking out for the Best interests of the Child
With that in mind, you should remember that the courts in California, as well as all across the nation, value the best interests of the child above all else. This means that, when the judge and other court officials assess any potential move-away cases, they will dive into issues involving the child’s health, education, safety, and other essential needs. Furthermore, in cases where the child is old enough, the courts will also consider his/her preferences.
Considering the Status Quo
Another part of the formula involves the status quo, which refers to the current custody and housing arrangements that are in place. This ties into the best interests of the child, and courts are generally reluctant to disrupt a child’s schedule and life unless the situation warrants it. Parents who are living in another state and want to modify the custody arrangements need to focus on the reasons as to why the current status quo does not work or is not an adequate arrangement.
Talk to an Experienced Family Law Attorney in CA
As you can see, interstate child custody disputes are complex affairs with many moving pieces. With these types of situations, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney in CA.
For more information on this or any other matter involving child custody or divorce, be sure to contact us at R & S Law Group, LLP at your earliest convenience. Give us a call at (949) 825-5245 to schedule a free initial consultation.