Child Custody And Visitation Q&A

Here are answers to common questions about child custody and visitation agreements in California. To discuss the nuances of your family's situation with an experienced family law, call Viola Law Firm P.C. at 650-532-9389 or contact us online.

Now that my husband and I are divorcing, I can no longer afford to stay in the Bay Area. Can I move to another state with our children?

A parent's ability to move away with the children is one of the more complicated areas of custody and visitation. If the parties cannot agree, the court will determine custody and visitation orders that are in the best interests of the children. In making this determination, the court will consider who the primary caretaker of the children is, the reasons for the move, the children's relationship with the nonmoving party, the impact the move would have on the nonmoving party's relationship with the children and other factors. Each case is unique and there is no "bright line" test to predict the outcome of every request for a move-away order.

After my husband and I separated, he moved out of state and left me and the children in California (where we lived throughout our marriage). He recently filed a motion for custody and visitation in another state. Is there anything I can do to keep this matter in California?
The state that has jurisdiction (the authority to hear matters and issue orders) regarding custody and visitation is the "home state." This is the place where the children primarily lived for at least six consecutive months prior to the initial custody proceedings.

My spouse was physically abusive during our marriage. Will that impact the custody orders?
When it is shown that one party has committed domestic violence against the other party or their children within the past five years, there is a presumption that it is detrimental to the children for the perpetrator to have either sole or joint physical or legal custody. In other words, the nonviolent spouse will likely have sole custody unless the person who is deemed to have committed the violence can demonstrate that it is in the children's best interests to have joint custody.