Child Custody

Child Custody

Child Custody

When there is a separation or divorce the courts take the health and welfare of any dependent children very seriously. Parents are expected to discuss and develop a plan that will provide for the needs of the children following divorce. If the parties cannot negotiate an agreement regarding child custody and care, a court will try to mediate a resolution. If following mediation no decision can be reached by the parents, the court will issue a child custody order.

Child Custody Agreements in Riverside

The first step for parents that separate should be to discuss the parenting responsibilities and rights, and how these will be divided following divorce. This is usually done with the assistance of attorneys for both parties who have an obligation from the court to look after the best interest of the children.

Custody agreements should include details about where the children are to reside, and how decisions will be made regarding the education, health, and welfare of the child. Such agreements should also cover visitation privileges and rights after the separation and any conditions that may apply on these occasions. It is important to remember that it is not in the benefit of your child to be caught in the middle of divorce proceedings. The desires of each parent must come secondary to the interest and wellbeing of the child.

 

Custody agreements should include details about where the children are to reside, and how decisions will be made regarding the education, health, and welfare of the child. Such agreements should also cover visitation privileges and rights after the separation and any conditions that may apply on these occasions. It is important to remember that it is not in the benefit of your child to be caught in the middle of divorce proceedings. The desires of each parent must come secondary to the interest and wellbeing of the child.

While often one parent, either the Mother or the Father, is granted primary custody, visitation rights are usually ordered for the other parent. Child custody agreements typically define the terms of visitation and may include times on the weekends, evenings, school vacations, and/or during holidays. Parents can share custody or either parent can have custody of the children.

If a resolution is reached between the parents, the child custody agreement must also be witnessed and signed by a judge. If they cannot agree the judge can make an immediate decision but will usually refer the parents to a mediator. The parents can hire a private mediator but many choose to go through Family Court Services which will arrange mediation of the dispute between the parties.

After mediation the parties will either agree and go back to court for a custody and visitation order from the judge or they will ask the judge to make a decision. The judge can ask for a recommendation from the mediator and they can also appoint an evaluator to recommend a parenting plan for custody and visitation. When making a decision the judge’s first consideration under the law is to give custody judges must give custody according to what will be in the best interests of the child.

Once a judge has issued a custody and visitation order or approved a parenting plan any changes to that plan have to have the agreement of both parents. If they can’t agree then one of the parents must file a motion before the court seeking the changes that they would like. Once again a judge may order mediation to resolve this issue before making a decision and will do everything in his or her power to have the parties reach agreement on a joint plan for looking after the children.

Child custody cases are very complex and can be very stressful for the parties involved and their children. This is one area where an experienced and capable Fathers Rights Attorney is indispensable. They will walk you through the process, point out the pitfalls that lie ahead, and encourage a settlement that is not only in your interest but in the best interest of the children involved as well.