Whether you are divorcing your spouse or co-parenting with your child’s other parent, determining custody can be a difficult process. Many people struggle to come up with a system that works for everyone’s schedules and lifestyles. No matter the situation, it is important that you go through the proper channels to determine your child visitation schedule. This will help to ensure security for you, your family, and your child.
Even the most civil of parents can encounter disagreements in custody over the course of their child’s life. Regardless of whether you feel that you and your child’s other parent can navigate your child custody agreement on your own, you will have no protections against change unless you go through the court. If your child’s other parent decides they don’t want to take the children for the weekend, for example, or they want to move away, they can do so, and the court will be unable to enforce anything. If you go through the court system to have your custody agreement approved, you can hold your child’s other parent accountable.
With the right child custody attorney, it’s possible to build the family structure that is best for your child. When you hire a family lawyer, we can help you to make your voice heard and allow you to properly advocate for your family.
Our team has been protecting the children and families of the Corona area for many years. We understand the unique challenges facing families in this area, which is why we advocate for so many. Our years in the business have brought us significant experience negotiating child custody and visitation agreements. Family law cases are difficult, but our experience gives you an advantage and confidence in the courtroom.
Because we have comprehensive family law experience, we are able to help you with any residual family law issues that accompany your child custody case. Many families must also contend with child support agreements as well, and we can help you with that as well. Our firm has a reputation for caring for our clients in all legal matters and family law cases.
Child custody agreements are legal contracts that stipulate how much time each parent should legally spend caring for their child. The Riverside County law states that both parents must contribute equally to their child’s upbringing. The first way this can happen is through custody. When a parent has custody, they are expected to provide for their child physically, emotionally, and financially.
In some situations, both parents are well equipped to raise their children, and both should get at least some access. In other situations, one parent is less capable or not safe to be the child’s guardian. In these cases, visitation rights may be appropriate. The court determines what is best for the child and creates the agreement accordingly.
Child custody orders can be organized in many different ways. The actual schedule may be left up to the parents entirely. The court simply dictates the amount of time that the children must spend with each parent. Some common custody arrangements include:
There are many different organizations that each of these types of custody can take. Many times, the exact schedule is determined by the parents. It’s also important to note that there are two categories of child custody that must be discussed in court. Physical custody is the predominantly understood type of custody. It involves the guardianship of the children.
The court also determines who has legal guardianship over the children. Legal guardianship allows a parent the right to make decisions about the child’s lifestyle, healthcare, and other legal matters. In some situations, parents share legal custody. They work together to decide what is best for their child when it comes to big concepts. However, it’s possible for one parent to hold legal custody but share physical custody. It’s rare, but it’s also possible for parents to share legal custody but for physical custody to remain with one parent. The court will decide who is best equipped to make vital decisions for the child until they become a legal adult.
Many people believe that they don’t need a child custody lawyer in these negotiations. However, if you want to have custody of your children, it is important that you have legal representation. The court judges what is best for the child, and the less you appear to fight for your children, the worse your outcome will be. Having a family lawyer on your side helps you to create the custody setup that you want and ensures that your perspective is heard and taken into account.
Child support and child custody are very closely linked. As mentioned, the law requires that both parents play an equal part in their child’s upbringing. If both parents cannot spend equal time as the guardian of the child, finances come into play. Child support payments are a way to ensure that parent participation is equal, even if custody cannot be.
Child support may also come into play if one parent earns more money than the other. The court looks at child-rearing as a percentage of each parent’s income. Each parent should contribute about the same percentage. If one parent makes four times what the other does, their contribution should be higher. The court ensures this by asking the higher-earning parent to contribute child support to the lower-earning parent to equalize the financial contribution.
In some situations, you may be able to negotiate your child support agreement through mediation. In these scenarios, an impartial third party listens to your point of view directly, rather than having attorneys involved. This method is only suggested for parents who are extremely collaborative. For many people, negotiating with their child’s other parent is difficult and frustrating. In those cases, mediation is not recommended. However, if you and your child’s other parent get along and work together, mediation may be a route to explore.
It’s important to remember that child support agreements can change. If your lifestyle, income, occupation, or circumstances change, you can bring your case back to court to have it adjusted. It’s important that these agreements reflect the child’s best interest at all times. As the child’s needs change, so should the child support agreement.
For example, if a child lives with their father for three weeks of a month and their mother for one, this may be a fine situation when the child is young. However, when the child grows and participates in school activities and clubs, it may make more sense to switch to weekdays with dad and weekends with mom. These kinds of situations are common in family court.
It’s also possible for a parent’s circumstances to change enough to warrant more or less time with their children. For example, if a parent with visitation was an alcoholic when the custody agreement was made but has since gone to rehab and is three years sober, they may be a better candidate for partial or shared custody.
If you do make a modification, it’s important to do so through the court system with an experienced lawyer. If you try to do it on your own, the court cannot enforce any violations of your new agreement. It’s best to go through the proper legal channels so everything is enforceable and legal.
Our team has been helping families with their custody agreements for many years. We have the experience and the track record to help you assemble the custody arrangement that is best for your family.
Don’t leave anything to chance; contact our offices to schedule a consultation.
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