Whether you have been divorced or separated from your partner, child custody can become a pressing issue. The responsibilities and rights parents have over their children must be negotiated, in or out of court. These cases tend to make it into the courts because of the importance people place on their children, and the tense emotions involved. To learn about the specifics of California child custody and visitation laws, continue reading our blog post.
Types of Custody
There are two difference types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the parent who makes significant choices for their children, in regards to medical, education, travel, or overall welfare. Typically, legal custody is either shared between both parents or given to simply one. The second type, physical custody, refers to the parent(s) your children live with. Typically, the parents decide on joint physical custody or one might request primary responsibilities, which means the other parent has only visitation rights. It is difficult for a child to spend half their time with one parent and half with another, so the time is usually imbalanced.
Parental custody is decided based on what the judge believes is in the child’s best interests. When deciding on custody, courts will look at the child’s age, health, bonds with their parents and communities, their parents’ ability to care for them, and family history of violence or drug use. Child support is also determined based on the amount of time the children are with each parent. When a court believes both parents are unable to care for their children, they will look into guardianship so the child lives safely.
How to Get a Court Order
The majority of parents can come to an agreement without needing a court order, but if either parent isn’t holding up their end of the deal, the court can enforce a court order. The court can only enforce an agreement if they have a signed court order. The agreement’s terms can be enforced if you turn in a copy to the judge. The judge can sign the deal if both parties agree. If consensus cannot be reached, a judge will send both parents to a mediator, and if this still doesn’t work, the judge will decide the custody and visitation times on their own. A judge can also appoint a custody evaluator to make a recommendation based on their professional opinions.
Establishing a child custody deal can be overwhelming, but with this information, you have a guide of what to expect every step of the way. To get in contact with a professional child custody attorney, make sure you hire us at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, where we are dedicated to excellence.