Navigating the labyrinth of information related to child custody law, no matter what the state, can be confusing. In regards to child custody, California has its own individual state laws and regulations. Knowing what those laws and regulations are, and how to prepare for a child custody case, is crucial in ensuring you have deserved custody of your child, or fair visitation rights.
If you know that you are going to court for child custody, there are several things you can do to prepare for your case so you come to court somewhat prepared. Bear in mind these options vary per state. You can check this homepage as an option for another region. In the meantime, some options are listed here for your consideration.
Always Protect the Children
Divorce is an emotionally devastating time for the couple, and the emotions and negativity definitely carry on to the children as well in many circumstances. It is important to consider the welfare of your children first, and not turn your children into a pawn to play against your spouse. This seems like common sense, but surprisingly a lot of couples push and pull on their kids during these times and the results are tragic. Involve your children as little as possible in what’s happening and make sure that every decision you make is to their benefit and not driven by emotions you might feel towards your former spouse.
Remember that child custody hearings aren’t about winning; they are about providing for your children. Winning a case by fighting dirty may damage the relationship you have with your children, possibly beyond repair.
Have a Parenting Plan
Whether you are seeking full custody, or simply fair visitation rights, it is important to consider a parenting plan. A parenting plan, also known as a “custody and visitation agreement”, or a “time-share plan”, is a written agreement explaining how a parent will spend time with their children. This includes such details as how much time in total will be spent, how the time will be divided between playtime, education, eating, and other activities, and how decisions will be made that may impact that children’s health or general welfare.
Custody mediation is a way for parents to come to an agreement about disagreements they may have in forming parenting plans for their children. The parents will seek the help of a professional mediator in resolving their disagreements so that they can write out a parenting plan that both of them will agree to. This written document can actually be taken directly to a judge and signed into a visitation order. This is a great way to resolve disagreements and provide for your children when it seems coming to a fair agreement is difficult. It’s important to keep in mind while in mediation what the goals are so as not to lose focus.
The goals of mediation include:
- Produce a parenting plan suitable to the needs of the children
- Provide a parenting plan that allows your children ample time with each parent
- Develop ways to deal with anger or resentment
Custody mediation can be an awesome solution to custody disputes if you are having trouble coming to a fair agreement with your former spouse for these reasons.
Child Custody in Cases Involving Domestic Violence
Additional preparation needs to take place in situations where domestic violence has occurred throughout the relationship, following the separation, or both. Part of this includes establishing a parenting plan where if the abusive spouse is to attain any rights to visitation of the children, exchange of the children should take place in a no contact manner, such as dropping the children off at school with one parent, and the other picking them up. In matters involving abuse of the children, depending on circumstances, you may be seeking full custody without visitation rights for the abusive spouse. However, in the event you allow the abuser to be around the children, it is often recommended that supervised visits take place to ensure the safety and well being of the children.
There are many other matters to take into consideration, and it’s always a good idea to choose a reputable family law attorney to represent you and help you make decisions about how you will proceed during your case. An attorney can make recommendations to you about ways you can better represent yourself and the relationship you have with your children for the benefit of gaining custody and caring for them. Often times, making decisions like these on your own while dealing with the emotions present during a divorce can be overwhelming to the point of being unmanageable. This is why having an attorney to represent you can be a great way to see through the fog and keep focused on your goals. As mentioned before, child custody cases in family law often get messy, but staying focused on your children and your desire for their success will only give you a better shot at your case.
Choosing an Attorney
Webb & Bordson has years of combined experience dealing with family law cases. We are a reputable company that is here to serve your best interests and make your experiences going to court for custody more pleasant than they would be if you chose to handle things on your own. Whether you need a San Diego or Fresno divorce attorney, we can help.
Call Webb & Bordson at (619) 399-7700 (San Diego) or (559) 431-4888 (Fresno). You can also send an email to Office@WebbLawGroup.com for more information.
Remember, your children are your number one priority. During a child custody battle, their future is literally in your hands. Don’t just give it your all on your own, get Webb & Bordsonin your corner so we can make your case a priority and collaborate to meet your custody goals. For questions, or to schedule a consultation, feel free to call or email us today!