What are a California parent’s rights when it comes to relocating?
For any number of reasons, a parent may want or need to move out of California. Sometimes relocating may be required for a job or for family, but it can be very common. When one parent decides to move away, what happens with the custody of a child?
Any parent may move away at any time, but there are several factors that need to be examined beforehand in order to determine if, and what type of, custody will be granted. Parents who have physical custody must get permission from the other parent to move away with a child. If the non-custodial parent does not want the child to move, he or she can file a petition with the courts to have custody or visitation arrangements modified.
In cases when they disagree about custody, parents will undergo an evaluation to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Based on the findings of the evaluation, a judge will decide with which parent the child will live. Recently, actress Halle Berry and her ex-husband went through this very same type of evaluation.
Berry has decided to move to Paris and wants to take the her 4-year-old daughter with her. The father, Berry’s ex, objects to the move since it will take his daughter away from him and out of the country. Berry argues that it would be safer for her daughter in Paris, and believes that she is a better caregiver than the girl’s father. She is requesting full custody.
The parents reportedly just completed the custody assessment. These evaluations are performed by a psychologist who speaks with the child, the parents and others about the parent-child relationship. These reports also examine each parent’s abilities as a caregiver. A judge will use the results of the evaluation as a factor in deciding with which parent a child will live.
Whether a parent has full custody or visitation rights, a mother and a father each have rights when it comes to the relocation of a child. The decision to take a child across the state or across the world should not be taken lightly. If parents disagree about a move, they should seek a modification in child custody arrangements.
Source: Gather, “Halle Berry Is the Better Parent – Will Judge Grant Her Full Custody?” Katie Sharp-Dierks, June 4, 2012