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Articles Posted in Custody and Visitation

Under What Circumstances Can a Child Custody Agreement be Modified?

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Going through a divorce can be an exceedingly long, stressful process, even when the separation was relatively amicable. During the proceedings, many decisions must be made, including child custody and child support. Once these have been finalized, it can be tempting to consider the matter fully resolved, but when there are children involved, that is rarely the case. There are a significant number of unexpected circumstances that can crop up after you’ve settled your custody agreement, ranging from changes in your life or your spouse’s life to potential new needs of your child. At the same time, modifying your agreement is not the simplest process.

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Can the Reason for Divorce Affect Child Custody?

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When a marriage falls apart, there are usually a plethora of factors at play. That being said, there are also plenty of scenarios where most of the blame can be assigned to a specific issue, such as acts of adultery, problems related to alcohol abuse, desertion, and more. As such, it’s natural to wonder if any of these could impact how child custody is determined. Can such acts affect whether the courts declare someone to be an unfit parent? The truth is that the answer is far from a simple one.

For starters, it’s important to acknowledge that the way divorces are handled overall is a little bit different in California when compared to certain other states. The reason for this is because California is considered a no-fault state. But how does that affect you and your case?

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Tips for Effective Coparenting Following Divorce in CA

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Transitioning from married life back to single living can be very difficult, especially if you are a divorced parent. It is necessary to not only take care of yourself and adapt to your new reality but also to ensure your children can adjust in the healthiest ways possible. Unfortunately, it is fairly common for recently divorced parents to notice significant changes in their children’s behavior. Some parents even feel lost when it comes to communicating with their children about their new reality. One of divorced parents’ greatest challenges is often reconciling their personal feelings about the other parent with their shared responsibilities.

If you have recently divorced in San Diego and have a child custody agreement with your ex-spouse, it is natural to experience many difficult emotions during the transition phase. However, it is vital to be reasonable and practical when it comes to dealing with your ex. No matter what type of personal issues lie between you and your ex, you both have a responsibility to do what is best for your children.

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How Much Does a Child’s Preference Impact Custody?

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One of the most difficult challenges of going through a divorce is determining the details regarding child custody. Even in situations when the divorce itself is amicable, you and your spouse are likely to have differing opinions regarding how best to proceed with childcare in the aftermath of your separation. Everything from agreeing upon the primary residence and custody schedules to more complex issues like schooling, religion, extracurricular activities, and more can be areas of disagreement.

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What Happens When a Judge Determines Child Custody?

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Divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences of any person’s life, but the process tends to be especially hard on parents. The breakdown of a marriage is one thing, but the breakdown of a family unit raises an entirely new set of concerns and issues that demand thoughtful consideration.

In California, state law dictates that all family court judges must ensure that any divorce involving children preserves those children’s best interests. Regardless of whether divorcing parents intend to go to court or mediate their divorces, the California family court system must approve their parenting plan and ensure safe care, custody, and support for the couple’s children.
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The Consequences of Withholding Visitation Rights

Visitation-RightsVisitation is an important part of any custody agreement. However, it can be difficult to allow your former partner to spend time with your child after having sustained multiple negative experiences with them in the past. In addition to any perceived hostility from the other parent, many situations might make you tempted to withhold visitation, such as attempts by the parent to manipulate your child, failure to pay child support, or even risk of physical or psychological abuse. If the court has already determined that the other parent has visitation rights, withholding visitation is an act of defiance against a standing court order and could result in severe consequences. In fact, the other parent can even accuse you of kidnapping. That’s why it is critical to follow the appropriate legal procedures for your situation instead of simply attempting to withhold visitation rights on your own. A family law attorney can go over the specifics and help you determine the best course of action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child. Continue reading

Child Custody and Support Outside of Wedlock

Child-Custody-and-Support-Outside-of-WedlockNavigating custody and child support cases is a normal part of course proceedings. If you happen to be an unmarried parent who has newly separated from their partner, you might be wondering if any legal provisions are in place to support you and your child. In 2018, the CDC revealed 39.6% of all births in the United States resulted from relationships outside of wedlock, so this is hardly an unusual situation. However, the information and resources available to parents going through custody-related claims in court are generally focused on situations where the parents were previously in a legally recognized union. Continue reading

Co-Parenting Over the Holidays

Co-ParentingRegardless of your custody arrangement or relationship with your child’s other parent, navigating the intricacies of co-parenting over the holidays can be difficult. Holiday planning is particularly challenging this year due to the ongoing pandemic, which has introduced new obstacles and complications to anything involving travel. However, even during a normal year, the holidays inherently require a lot of work and careful communication for separated parents. Continue reading

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COVID-19 has affected all sectors of the U.S. population.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has issued stay-at-home orders for all residents, with limited exceptions for “essential works.”  In California alone, over 1 million workers have filed for employment benefits.  The San Diego Courthouses have all closed to the public and were only processing temporary restraining orders. As of April 8, 2020, the Superior Courts have expanded their accessibility slightly allowing for limited Ex Parte (emergency) Hearings.  Since the Court’s official closure in mid-March, it is believed the Court has received over 7,000 documents via U.S. Mail. None of these documents have been processed during the closure.  This figure does not account for the presumably high number of Court filings that have been postponed or the number of hearings that were scheduled to occur during the 2 ½ months the Court has been closed.  Those hearings will have to be continued to a date in the future.  So, what can we expect once the Courts are able to re-open in any capacity? Continue reading

AdobeStock_323666821-scaledAlthough a divorce in California could be finalized in as quickly as 6 months, if the former spouses have children together they are stuck with each other for 18 years, and longer!  The truth is that child custody and visitation issues linger long after the final divorce papers are signed.  This is because as children grow older their needs and activities change.  Similarly, throughout the years parents move on with their separate lives and some acquire new jobs or partners.  Due to these factors, a visitation schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the case may not always work for the family a few years later.  This blog will explore how parents can request a modification to the current visitation schedule exercised by their family. Continue reading

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