Articles Posted in Custody and Visitation


It sounds cliché (because it is), but if I had a dollar for every time I heard my parents tell me, “as long as you live under my roof, you will follow my rules” I assure you I would be enjoying an early retirement somewhere sunny. When I was a kid, all I could think about was finding another roof to live under. Now, as a parent myself…well like many of us, I am turning into my parents. I suspect I will utter these same words to my kids soon enough.

This blog is not about turning into our parents. It is about dealing with discipline and consistency in co-parenting situations; situations where your children literally have another roof to live under.

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I have blogged in the past about tips for co-parenting, how to talk with your attorney, and any number of other ways to address child custody issues in the Family Court system. With the presidential primaries heading towards the Iowa caucuses, I thought I would do a blog called “Going Negative.” In campaigning, going negative, known more colloquially as “mudslinging”, is trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent rather than emphasizing one’s own positive attributes or preferred policies.

In really “going negative” means the same thing in family law, except instead of candidates its parents, and instead of policies its parenting. However, the effect it has is no different. Continue reading


I handle a lot of child custody cases.  That is not surprising since I am a Family Law Attorney, but I have many colleagues that simply do not handle custody cases at all.  They will either bring in co-counsel to handle the case or not accept the case entirely.  Handling child custody cases can be difficult, and I cannot count the amount of clients who have cried in my office.  The truth is child custody is a very emotional issue at the best of times.  At the worst of times…well it can sometimes be soul crushing work.  Having said that, I love handling custody and working with parents to find positive resolutions to very emotional issues.

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In my previous blog, I raised several questions that you need to discuss with you attorney before you make a request for the party to be drug tested. In this blog I will answer these questions and provide some ideas to assist in deciding whether they are important in your case.

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The abuse of alcohol and/or drugs by a parent can have an enormous impact on their children’s lives. That impact can range from the irrational or angry behavior of a parent under the influence, exposure to drugs or drug use, or safety concerns related to a parent who is under the influence and caring for the children.

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I have discussed on this blog many times how the most difficult job a Family Court Judge has is making custody orders. Property and support can be legally or technically difficult, but they will never compare to the emotions of making custody orders. Never is this task more difficult then when one of the parents comes to court requesting emergency custody orders.

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision on November 17, 2015 in the case of Ramey v. Sutton in which the biological mother in a same sex relationship wished to cut ties between her partner and child after their break-up which followed almost 10 years of co-parenting. In this case, after the couple split, the non-biological mother petitioned the district court for custody and visitation orders. The biological mother argued that no legal standing for such a request existed, as the parties were never married nor did they ever enter into a written parenting agreement regarding the child that they were raising together.

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international-move-away-requestThere is only one type of case more heart-wrenching than a move-away case: an international move-away case. While domestic move-away cases are complicated enough, international move-aways add additional layers of complexity that must be considered by both parties and the Court. Continue reading


Part one of this blog introduced the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) and the AAML’s new publication addressing the division of parenting time for families going through divorce or separation, titled Child Centered Residential Guidelines (“AAML Guidelines”). Here we will delve into an examination of the publication and summarize the AAML Guidelines.

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If you are considering a divorce or are already involved in the divorce process, you have likely done some research and been left scratching your head in bewilderment. Divorce is so common these days that you may assume it’s easy to do. Unfortunately, however, it’s not the most “user friendly” process. This is especially so in California, where the judicial forms, statutes, cases, and court rules that together form our laws are wrought with nuances and deadlines that even the most intelligent person in the world is apt to miss without the proper legal training.

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