My child lives in California and I live somewhere else, can I get custody?

My child lives in California and I live somewhere else, can I get custody?

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Even if you don’t live in California where your child lives, you may be able to obtain custody rights to your child(ren). In California, custody is split into legal custody, physical custody, and visitation. Legal Custody grants parents the rights to share the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of each minor child. Physical custody is whom the child lives with and visitation is the schedule established for the non custodial parent. Most often, the courts will award joint legal custody but the problem with out of state parents is the issue of physical custody and visitation.

In Los Angeles and other California courts, judges may award a significant amount of time with the parent who lives in another state. Public policy of California, and the Family Code, requires frequent and continuing contact between children and both parents but that is not precisely defined. So in an effort to make sure that both parents get significant amount of time with their children, judges will often allow for extended visitation with the out of state parent for the Christmas break and for the summer break. In order to get these types of orders, the courts require that both parties attend mediation before any court date (in which lawyers are not allowed) and if things can’t be worked out between the parents and the mediator then the judge will make the decision regarding custody and visitation. To change the physical custody of your child or children by asking that they move with you can be difficult but can be accomplished. It can depend on a variety of factors but the judge may decide in your favor and rule that the child must live with you instead of California where they currently live.

It’s important that you hire an aggressive Los Angeles child custody attorney to handle your case and to make sure you get as much time with your child as possible. Los Angeles and Pasadena child custody lawyer Michael S. Carrillo has handled many cases in which his clients lived out of state and can help fight for you on your custody issues. Give us a call today at (323) 657-5954 or (626) 799-9379 for a free consultation today!


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