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child custody and visitation Archives

Important factors in a California child custody case

A divorce is a devastating event in the world of a California family. While the parents must work through the complicated steps of separating their lives, their children must learn to live new lives that place their parents in different households. Because divorce can be hard on youths the courts and their parents are required to preserve the children's best interests when making decisions about their custody and care.

Father kidnaps daughter to evade court order

California judges have broad powers to resolve the many issues in a divorce. Refusal to obey an order establishing the parties' rights to child custody and visitation can result in a citation for contempt of court, a fine, and, in extreme cases, criminal charges. A recent child custody incident in Northern California demonstrates the sort of extreme behavior that can lead to unhappy results for all concerned.

Drafting a parenting plan that will help your children

When a Sacramento couple decides to end their marriage, providing for the welfare of their children is one of the most important issues they will face. Unfortunately, divorcing spouses often do not view the issues involved in their children's welfare in the same light. A jointly drafted parenting plan can be a very helpful tool in resolving disputes about child custody and visitation.

What is a child custody evaluation?

The emotional status of children is a crucial issue in many California divorces. If the mental health of a child is disputed by the parents or if the court has other reasons to inquire, the court may order a child custody evaluation. Judges use the evaluations to assist them in determining the "health, safety, welfare and best interest of children with regard to disputed child custody and visitation issues."

Resolving "move away" custody issues

California law requires parents involved in a divorce to submit a jointly drafted parenting plan to the court. Working out a child custody and visitation plan can be an arduous task for one or both parents. Regardless of the effort invested by the parents, such a plan can be rendered useless if the custodial parent decides to move to another city or another state and take the children along. What happens then?

Understanding the "best interests of the child"

For divorcing couples with minor children, the "best interests of the child" is perhaps the most dominant concept in the entire divorce. California law makes child custody, child visitation and child support dependent upon how the best interests of the child will be affected by decisions resolving these issues. A single blog post is inadequate to fully analyze the tests used by California courts, but an overview may be helpful to those considering a divorce.

How to create a joint parenting plan in California

Most California divorce professionals, from judges to lawyers to social workers, believe that children fare better in a divorce if the parents can cooperate in resolving issues such as custody, child support, decision making and visitation. The straightest path to such an outcome is the preparation of a parenting plan that is signed by both parties and approved by the court.

Grandparents have visitation rights in California

A minor child's grandparents can easily become the forgotten party in a divorce, especially if the divorce entails animosity between the divorcing spouses. Grandparents often form close emotional bonds with their grandchildren, and a court's award of child custody to the spouse that is not the offspring of the grandparents can put deep strains on these relationships. The California legislature has acknowledged this fact by giving divorce courts the power to grant reasonable visitation rights to grandparents of minor children.

Understanding California law on supervised visitation

Many parents in Sacramento who have gone through a divorce have learned that the emotional turmoil doesn't always end when the judge signs the decree dissolving the marriage. For couples with children, the emotional aftermath of a divorce can be painful and disruptive, especially if one parent believes that the children are not safe in the unsupervised custody of the other parent. To resolve problems with child custody and visitation, courts often order supervised visitation.

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