Articles Posted in Custody and Visitation

The OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApsychological evaluation is often the most important document for a parent in a divorce case. Yet the manner in which psychologists create these reports is difficult to understand, even for many family lawyers. In this multi-part series, we will examine psychological evaluations, one of the most important tools the Courts use to determine custody and visitation. In this first part, we will discuss one of the most important questions when it comes to such evaluations: Why should I request one?

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divorce-separation-marriage-breakup-split-39483

As a cast member of the Real Housewives of New York, Jules Wainstein is no stranger to drama. Surprisingly though, Jules’ impending divorce from husband Michael Wainstein filed in June has already been deemed the most dramatic divorce in Housewives history. And while it may be the most dramatic divorce the show and its cast have ever seen, Jules’ situation is actually not all that uncommon out here in the REAL, real world.

According to all of the press that the couple has received as of late, it would seem that Jules caught Michael cheating on her with one of her close friends. At that point Michael was prompted to file a petition for divorce after their eight year marriage. Since then, numerous accusations of domestic violence have surfaced, along with recent pictures of police outside the couples’ apartment. Continue reading

grandparents-rights

What happens if you are a grandparent and you would like court ordered visitation rights with your grandchildren in California? In California, under Family Code section 3100, the family court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparent of a minor child.

California can be fairly permissive when it comes to granting orders of visitation between  grandchildren and grandparents. In deciding whether to grant visitation rights to anyone, a court will always place the interests of the child first. For a court to order visitation, a California court will balance the interests of the child against the traditional right of the parents to decide who their children associate with. Continue reading

custody-evaluations

In many high conflict cases, the Court cannot rely solely on the parties and the witnesses selected by the parties to come to an informed conclusion on child custody and visitation. The Court must rely on other professionals to investigate and evaluate the family’s circumstances. A custody evaluation is generally considered to be a matter of right to a noncustodial parent facing a request to move the children out of California. In California, there are generally three ways the Court can appoint evaluators.

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summer-vacation-tips

Summer is right around the corner, which means one thing…School is almost out! Thinking of where you and your child want to spend some time soaking up the sun? Before you plan that out of the county or even out of the country vacation, let’s make sure your trip will be smooth sailing by making sure you are complying with all court orders.

First, determine where you are in your case (pre- or post-judgment). Take a look at your most recent order:

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divorce-texting-coparenting

Texting is the most widely-used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day.  Not impressed…Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day, making it the most common cell phone activity for more than 80% of adults.

Everyone sends text messages.  They are quick, fast, and effective, especially when a full phone call is not necessary. For all of the benefits of texting, there are serious downsides.  Texting is more impersonal than a real phone call.  It is much easier to deliver bad news or to say something in anger via a text than it is in person or on the phone.  Also, you tend to respond quickly and without thinking.  This can have serious consequences.  Continue reading

traveling-abroad-family-divorce

With summer right around the corner questions about summer vacations should begin coming soon.  Inevitably one of the questions will be about the children traveling abroad.  Whether you are the parent who wants to take the children abroad or you are a parent concerned about the children traveling abroad, this blog should help to explain what issues you will face, what concerns are valid and how to go about getting an order allowing or preventing travel abroad with the children.

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child-custody-trial

In a previous post, we gave an overview of what parents can expect from the contested child custody process in California, from the filing of the Petition until the time the Court makes its first orders. In this post, we will go beyond the Court’s first orders and discuss the process from that point until a child custody trial that results in a judgment.

Again, remember that parents can agree to custody and visitation arrangements without getting the Court involved, except to approve the agreement.  This post is mostly about cases where the parents can’t agree.

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child-custody-first-orders

If you are a parent who is anxious about the child custody process in California, you are in good company. These feelings are perfectly normal. After all, the decisions on custody and visitation are so crucial and most parents know so little about the process. I thought I would explain the process in a general sense so parents have a better idea of what to expect. This post will explain the process from the filing of the Petition until the time the Court makes its first orders. The process from that point forward until trial will be explained in a subsequent post.

Keep in mind that parents can agree to a custody and visitation arrangement and the Court will almost always rubberstamp it.  This post is mostly about cases where the parents can’t agree.

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custody-orders

There are some orders that we feel are underutilized by Judges in Custody cases. One of the reasons we list them here is because the judges in this county tend to not have egos: if you ask them to adjust an order they just made and they like the suggestion, they won’t have any qualms about doing so. So if a judge in your case doesn’t make an order listed here, feel free to tell them why they should!

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