What are some of the keys to managing child custody issues after a divorce decree is issued in your case? It is important to note from the outset the guiding principle in California child custody cases is “the best interests of the child.”
During the process of or after completing a divorce parents may have disagreements about what is in a child’s best interests. If court intervention is necessary, a judge will apply this principle when determining their custody and visitation orders.
It is important to be aware of all communications during and after the divorce. The Judge can and will review emails, texts, social media posts and even voicemails to determine the state of mind and fitness of either or both parents.
If you seek to change any orders issued by a judge you must return to court to ask for a modification. The court is not required, per se, to even hear a post decree modification case. Modifications are not guaranteed and usually can only be asked for if a significant change of circumstances has occurred.
To make the process of managing child custody issues after a divorce more efficient and productive, mediation may be required before a case is heard in family court. This gives a couple a chance to come up with a resolution instead of having a judge impose an order on the family. If a couple does reach agreement on a joint custody agreement or a parenting schedule this can be submitted for court approval.
Multiple studies over many years have shown that parents who are able to work out their own child custody issues are much more likely to abide by these agreements post decree. One has more “skin in the game” if they participated in and ultimately agreed to child custody decisions.
Multiple things might occur if a couple in North County goes to our family court to resolve a child custody dispute. When presenting a case before or after your divorce a guardian ad litem might be appointed to represent a child. After both parents or their attorneys have a chance to speak, judges have a fair amount of discretion when making child custody modifications.
Managing child custody issues after a divorce are greatly influenced by how matters were managed during the divorce.
You know the present rhythm of the lives of you and your children and what works for them. Keep the best interests of the child front and center in your mind when approaching these issues.