The welfare and custody of peoples’ children are of the upmost importance as they go through the divorce process. Things such as who will be the custodial parent and visitation rights are issues that come up in many cases. In a Massachusetts child custody case, it is not uncommon for issues to arise after a property settlement agreement and divorce decree have been entered. In this situation, you may need to pursue a modification of a divorce judgment. This commonly happens where one of the parents wants to, or needs to, relocate.
Issues related to relocation are highlighted by the most recent child custody battle between Halle Berry and the father of her daughter. The actress has been embroiled in a highly publicized custody battle since last year. The couple had previously reached what seemed to be an amicable agreement — until Berry made a request to move to France with her daughter.
Berry is engaged to a French actor and requested to move abroad earlier in the year. She cited Paris as being a safer location for her daughter to grow up. The father, who is a Los Angeles resident, objected to the move as she would be taking away their daughter. A judge agreed with the father, and ruled that Berry cannot move to France with their daughter.
As a general rule, courts decide disputes over child custody and relocation according to the best interests of the child standard. This means that all custody and visitation decisions are made with the goal of ensuring a child’s happiness, security, mental and physical health. It is generally presumed that a stable and safe relationship with both parents is in the child’s best interests.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Halle Berry custody battle: court rules the actress can’t move to France with her daughter,” Nov. 11, 2012