November 16, 2017

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The Week in Review

Streamlining Custody and Placement Laws

This week, the Assembly Committee on Children and Families met to hold a hearing on several bills including two that I authored that will clarify and streamline laws for separated parents.

Assembly Bill 551 eliminates confusion in state law regarding placement and custody when one parent intends to move 100 miles or more from the other parent. The proposal creates a clear process for parents who want to relocate with the child to find a workable placement or custody agreement in an effort to create fairness and reduce litigation. The legislation is receiving strong support from parents and fellow lawmakers.

Assembly Bill 586 allows parents to incorporate future events into their custody and placement agreements. In child custody or physical placement cases there are often foreseeable events, which will require a change in the placement schedule. Under current law, once a custody or placement schedule is finalized by a judge, parents cannot return to court for at least two years to amend the schedule even if they both agree that changes will be needed in the immediate future.

For example, when a child starts school, placement schedules generally need to be changed to account for the child’s new schedule. However, under current law parents must wait until school begins to have the updated schedule approved by the court. Under this proposal, if both parties agree, the future event can be included in the original agreement that allows for the updated schedule to be put in place once the event occurs.

Both of these proposals make custody and placement laws more efficient and reduces the likelihood of costly litigation giving parents the flexibility to work out agreements without involving attorneys and judges.

I look forward to this legislation passing in the near future.

Have a great weekend!



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