“If I Choose To Leave The Home With My Children, Am I Risking Losing Custody?”
As a parent who is the primary caretaker of a minor child or children, it is always best to relocate the children with you to the new residence if possible to have as little disruption of their routine and lifestyle as you can. However, this is not always possible, either for financial reasons, for domestic violence reasons, or because the other party will not agree to let them leave. Courts will always look at the “status quo” and past history of custody or child care to help in determining future orders. If you are in this situation, have you compromised your custodial rights by moving out?
Not necessarily. California Family Code 3046 sets out some specific instances where moving out cannot be used as a basis for awarding custody to the other party. Here are some of the most common:
*Where the absence or relocation is of short duration and you have demonstrated a strong interest in maintaining custody and visitation with the other party and show no intent to abandon the child.
*Where the relocation is necessitated by domestic violence committed by the other party.
*The court may consider whether or not the other party has made attempts to interfere with your contact with the child.
In all cases, it is important to request custody immediately. If appropriate, an ex parte (emergency) hearing may be used, as well as restraining orders with temporary custody provisions where the facts justify such a request.
DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.