Tips for when a child wants to live with the other parent

After California parents get divorced, the children usually spend more time at one household. However, a child may eventually express a desire to live with the other parent. If this happens, there are several things the custodial parent may want to do.

Instead of arguing, the parent should be open and listen to the child. However, it’s important to still enforce boundaries. The child should speak respectfully, but the parents must try to empathize and consider the child’s point of view. If possible, the parent should try to bring the other parent into the conversation as well. The child will most likely mention it to the other parent anyway. A healthy coparenting relationship will help in navigating this process. If the parent believes that the move is not in the child’s best interests, it may be wise to seek outside help from family friends, legal counsel or even a therapist.

The parent should try to view the child’s desire impersonally and not as an attack. It’s also best to avoid making negative remarks about the noncustodial parent or a snap judgment about the child’s request.

There are various potential reasons to modify a child custody arrangement. For example, one parent might wish to move for a job. A court may need to approve a parental relocation. Parents who are concerned about their kid’s safety with the other parent could also want a modification. However, a parent may be required to produce documentation to demonstrate that the child is not safe. If a court agrees, the other parent might be limited to supervised visitation or not be allowed contact with the child at all.

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