Ending a relationship is difficult, particularly when there are children involved. There are many questions come up when child custody is at stake – let us explain some of the key things you’ll need to know.
1. Parenting is for life: Long after the child turns 18, you and your ex will be involved in the child’s life. What you do now and how you act at this stage will deeply influence how your child will view both parents and will set a tone for how that child will approach parenting if he or she elects to have children. You and your ex serve as ambassadors of your children.
2. Everything starts with a clean, easy to interpret court order: Each parenting order should be custom designed to fit the needs of each family. Before going to court, sit down and chart out a typical year of events, school activities, summer vacation, year end holidays to be certain you are not overlooking important blocks of time.
3. Always try conflict resolution before returning to court: Inevitably, conflicts will arise concerning parenting issues, timeshare or other events affecting a child’s life. A parent prepared to address these hot button issues has a better chance of working through conflict than a parent who just wishes conflict will never happen. You might consider building into your court order a provision that requires both parents to attend a specific number of co-parenting counseling meetings with a therapist trained in this field before filing a motion to return to court.
4. Document problems: If co-parenting counseling doesn’t work and the problems won’t resolve, document what the problems are by keeping a clean written record of your communication with the other parent about the problem. Texting is a difficult resource to print out and use as court exhibits but it can be done. The best method of keeping a record would be to regularly use email for non emergency parenting discussions.
5. Return to court when all else fails: Waiting for the problem to resolve itself or vanish is pointless. Delay can make the parenting situation worse and can work against you if a parenting pattern that’s unsatisfactory to you is considered appropriate by the judge because so much time has passed before returning to court.
Speak to a California Divorce Attorney for Your ChildCustody Needs
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Contact our law firm today at 562-439-9001 if you or someone you know needs the help of an experienced family law attorney. We will be here for you when you call. Schedule a free consultation!
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This is intended as general advice and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Each situation is unique and requires specific analysis of relevant contracts, facts and legal obligations.