Q: Will a temporary relocation impact my child custody and visitation case?
Divorce is stressful enough, and when child custody or visitation issues are a part of the proceedings, the emotional strain can be substantial. Parents often fear that they will lose precious time with their children. Fortunately, if you must temporarily relocate for work or personal reasons and the relocation means that you will see your child less than the status quo, you typically do not need to fear that the relocation will impact custody or visitation decisions made by the Superior Court in San Francisco or any other court with jurisdiction over the action.
When Relocation Will Not Be Used Against You During Custody Hearings
In general, the court will abide by the status quo of custody and visitation arrangements between the parents, absent certain circumstances. Your temporary relocation will not impact this rule of thumb, assuming the following is true:
- The relocation was for a short time period.
- You demonstrate an interest in maintaining custody or visitation.
- You maintain or make reasonable efforts to stay in contact with your child.
- Your behavior during the relocation does not indicate a clear intent to abandon your child.
In addition, if your relocation is a result of fear for your safety due to domestic or family violence on the part of your ex-spouse, the relocation cannot be used against you when determining custody or visitation of your child.
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