Can the Mother Keep the Child Away From the Father in California?

Co-parenting after divorce can be stressful, even if you and your ex-spouse were able to agree to a parenting plan during mediation and even if both parents abide by the parenting plan. It is even worse if your ex does not follow the parenting plan, interferes with your parenting time by being late in returning the children to you, flakes on plans to allow you to pick them up, or throws temper tantrums to bully you out of your holiday parenting time. It is easy for your ex-wife to convince everyone in your life that you are the bad guy simply because you introduced your children to your girlfriend or because your line of work makes your income hard to predict, so you cannot pay the same amount of child support each month. 

Fortunately, these arguments do not convince the court that you are a bad parent, and even if everything your ex says is true, you still have a right to exercise your court-ordered parenting time. Something big would have to happen for the court to reduce your parenting time pursuant to your ex-spouse’s request. If your ex is threatening to take your children away, contact a Whittier child custody lawyer.

Both Parents Have the Right to a Parental Relationship With Their Children

California law speaks of parenting time, not of just one parent having custody and the other having visitation. How many days of parenting time each parent gets varies from one family to another and is based on the children’s best interests and, if possible, the parents’ preferences. In some families, parenting time is split almost equally. Gender is not a factor in determining parenting time. Some fathers have more days of parenting time per year than their children’s mothers, regardless of the age and gender of the children; it is not just teen boys who get to spend more than half the year with their fathers.

Can Your Ex-Wife Move Your Children Out of California Without Your Consent?

If your ex-wife wants to move out of California, and she has more than 182 days of parenting time per year, she must notify the court, which gives you a chance to object. The court may order your ex to stay in California, or if it gives her permission to move, it must issue a new parenting plan that includes arrangements for your children to travel to California for your parenting time.

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

If a family member calls the police, accusing you of domestic violence, this could quickly lead to a restraining order temporarily barring you from contacting your children. The court will act quickly, however, to make a new parenting plan that enables you to remain in contact with them.  While your case is pending, it may mean that you have supervised parenting time, which means that another adult (for example, one of your parents) must also be present during your parenting time.

Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum Exercising Your Right to Parenting Time

A family law attorney can help you if your ex-spouse is trying to prevent you from exercising your court-ordered parenting time.  Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates APLC in Whittier, California, to set up a consultation.