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Articles Tagged with child custody mediation

How Does the California Family Court Determine a Child’s Best Interests?

How Does the California Family Court Determine a Child’s Best Interests?

Whenever unmarried parents decide to raise their children separately or when married parents divorce, the parents must have legally enforceable custody orders that outline their respective parental rights and responsibilities. Regardless of whether the couple is married, they will need to have the California family court determine the outcome of their custody dispute. This is not a legal matter that parents can resolve privately, and all parents facing custody determinations should prepare for difficult and emotionally stressful court proceedings.

The California family court has a legal obligation to protect any children the court’s rulings affect. This means preserving a child’s best interests in every family court case. However, “the child’s best interests” are relatively open to interpretation, and every case will involve unique details. Therefore, if you are preparing for a custody determination in California family court, it’s vital to know how judges make these decisions.

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How Can a Parent Lose Parental Rights in California?

How Can a Parent Lose Parental Rights in California?

Child custody cases are some of the most emotionally challenging experiences in parents’ lives. The outcomes of these cases have undeniable effects on the lives of the children affected by them. If you face any child custody determination, a domestic violence case, or any other family law matter in which parental rights could be in jeopardy, it is vital to understand how these cases unfold and how a parent might lose their custody rights.

Whenever the court must rule on a child custody dispute, the judge is legally obligated to rule in favor of the best interests of the child their ruling affects. This may sound relatively open to interpretation, and every custody dispute will involve different issues. However, a parent may completely lose custody and parental rights over their children if the judge determines this would be in the children’s best interests.

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What to Do If You Suspect Your Ex of Neglecting or Abusing Your Child

What to Do If You Suspect Your Ex of Neglecting or Abusing Your Child

It is a devastating realization when a parent finds evidence that their children have been neglected or abused. When the mistreatment occurs at the hands of a close family member who is taking care of them, such as the other parent, you can feel powerless. It is vital for a divorced parent to be aware of the steps they should take to ensure their children’s safety if they discover that their child has been abused or neglected in any way by the other parent during visitation or shared custody time.

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Important Factors That Influence Child Custody Determination in California

Important Factors That Influence Child Custody Determination in California

Child custody disputes are some of the most challenging legal cases any parent can face. Married parents who decide to divorce will need to resolve child custody through the family court system, and unmarried parents who separate and intend to raise their children separately will need enforceable family court orders for custody as well. Whatever your situation entails, it’s vital to understand the child custody determination process and what a judge must evaluate in making these determinations.

While it’s possible to resolve many divorce-related issues privately through alternative dispute resolution, this does not apply to child custody. The California family court system is legally obligated to protect children’s best interests affected by court rulings. For example, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse and co-parent intend to take advantage of mediation to resolve your divorce, you must be prepared to spend time in court to settle child custody.

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Potential Benefits of Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Potential Benefits of Legal Separation vs. Divorce

If you and your spouse have been experiencing tension in your marriage, divorce could potentially arise as a possibility for your near future. However, it is vital that you do not make the decision to divorce lightly, nor should you rush into divorce proceedings in the face of marital problems. Divorce is a complex and stressful process. It is likely to pose significant changes to various aspects of your life for the foreseeable future. In some cases, couples need time and space to reevaluate their marriages before moving forward with divorce proceedings.

Legal separation can effectively provide some of the benefits that divorce can offer without the finality of divorce. While many people conflate legal separation and divorce, they are two very different family law procedures. In a divorce, the couple’s marriage contract is terminated, and the couple resolves many issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. In a legal separation case, the couple must also address many of the same issues and will ultimately end up with separate living arrangements, but they remain legally married.

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Can a Parent Permanently Lose Custody Rights in California?

Can a Parent Permanently Lose Custody Rights in California?

The family court system of California has a legal obligation to protect the best interests of the children affected by family court orders, including divorce cases and child custody determinations. Generally, the court upholds that a child thrives best with equal access to both of their parents. However, the court will only seek such custody arrangements as long as both of the child’s parents are fit and safe to raise their child. When a parent has engaged in criminal activity, especially any misconduct that involves victimization of their child or other children, the court is unlikely to grant much in the way of custody rights to the parent. It’s also possible for a parent to permanently lose their custody rights as a result of some behaviors.

Involuntary termination of parental rights is one of the most severe penalties a parent can face through the family court system. Additionally, when a parent qualifies for involuntary termination of their parental rights, their behavior could be severe enough to warrant criminal prosecution as well.

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How Can an Attorney Help With Family Court Order Modification?

How Can an Attorney Help With Family Court Order Modification?

Life can pose unpredictable challenges for anyone. When changes in your lifestyle occur due to forces beyond your control, some of these changes can have a material impact on any standing family court orders that you must observe. For example, if you have a family court order requiring you to pay child support and you lose your job due to company-wide layoffs, you may not be able to meet your child support obligation by no fault of your own. When these things happen, and you are concerned about your ability to abide by a standing family court order, it’s vital to understand how the modification process can help your situation.

Family law is unique in that it is possible to alter your family court order without a complex, time-consuming appeal process. Instead, modification allows any party beholden to a family court order to request reasonable changes to their family court order through a simplified process. While this may seem straightforward at first, consulting an experienced California family law attorney before filing your petition for modification is a wise choice. Your attorney can help you determine whether you have grounds for a modification, guide you through the process, and may even have suggestions for other alterations you could reasonably request that could make it easier for you to manage your court-ordered obligations in the future.

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Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Navigating the court system can be exceedingly difficult for those new to the experience. In particular, many individuals are unfamiliar with the often-prevalent legal jargon—especially when it comes to the complex processes and legal documents this jargon can describe. Fortunately, the average person is not expected to understand each detail of our complex legal system or the nuances within the law. Skilled attorneys exist to demystify the legal system and guide their clients through their court proceedings successfully.

However, it is important to be aware of the most common legal terms, especially those that pertain to your case. To that end, one of the most asked questions our attorneys receive is regarding writs and appeals. These two legal petitions can dramatically affect how a case proceeds and the differences between them can make a major difference in the timeline of a case. Further, some legal proceedings require a writ, while others require appeals.

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What Happens When a Parent Violates a Custody Agreement in California?

What Happens When a Parent Violates a Custody Agreement in California?

When divorced or unmarried parents have a child custody agreement in California, both of them need to abide by the terms of the agreement to the letter. While life is unpredictable, and a parent may have an emergency or other unforeseen issue that interrupts their regular custody or visitation schedule, these one-off events are typically easy to manage between the parents. However, if a parent repeatedly violates the terms of a custody agreement or violates the terms to an extreme degree, the other parent must know how to address the situation and prevent similar issues in the future.

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Making a Change in Divorce Judgements Due to a Change of Circumstances

Making-a-Change-in-Divorce-Judgements-Due-to-a-Change-of-Circumstances

Life can change in an instant, and individuals who are divorced are not immune. In fact, divorced people frequently experience changes in their life circumstances that may necessitate changes in terms of their divorce regarding spousal support, child support, or child custody and visitation. If you are in a similar situation that has made the terms of your divorce untenable, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, it is important to know that you are not alone.

The first step toward changing a divorce judgment is to request a hearing. A hearing allows you to prove in court that you have experienced a significant lifestyle change since the time that your divorce was settled. The courts do not provide a specific outline for what constitutes a change of circumstances, but they will consider various factors that may affect the terms of your divorce.

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