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Child Custody For Divorced Parents That Live Far Apart

“Better to do good at home
than to go far away to burn incense.”
-Amelia Earhart

When parents divorce and one of them moves to a distant place, what happens to the parenting plan?  How can joint custody work when a “move-away” makes your reasonable plan impractical, if not impossible to fulfill?

What’s In The Best Interest Of The Kids?

The goal of any State of California court is to provide custody orders and assign visitation according to what they determine is in the best interest of the children. For the most part, the presumed “best case scenario” for kids is that custody orders provide time for both parents with their children.  When one parent moves away after custody and visitation has been ordered, then what?

Modification Due To A Move-Away

Whether the parent has joint or sole custody, when they choose to move to a location (or are required to move for work purposes), California courts will see this as a “move-away” case. To be considered a move-away the move has to be far enough to affect the current custodial arrangement. Simply moving across town may not warrant a change, but when one of the parents moves a significant distance, current custody and visitation orders will need to be modified.

Here’s how that modification works. If you or your ex-spouse are moving, we can help you petition the court for new custody orders. If you are moving, we’ll help you request to move the child with you, if your ex-spouse is moving we will file a motion so that your children can stay with you.

Mediation is the place to start the negotiations for a new parenting plan, before seeing a judge. If you and your ex-spouse can’t come to an agreement we can represent you and the interests of your children at the court hearing.

The Advocacy Of Ann A. Thomson

The focus of Attorney Ann A. Thomson’s counsel in child custody cases is to utilize creativity and flexibility to reach quick and efficient resolution.  Not only does this minimize the cost to our clients but it also saves you and your children from unnecessary additional emotional trauma in the process.  Working through complications and challenges such as parents living far apart is part of our ability to employ strong negotiation techniques to achieve an equitable and reasonable child-first parenting plan. 

Contact Us Today

Take advantage of the trial experience and proficiency of Ann A. Thomson. Call 562-431-4333 or contact us online anytime to schedule your appointment for a free initial consultation.


From offices in Seal Beach, the Law Office of Ann A. Thomson serves clients throughout Southern California in communities such as Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Norwalk, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles.