Custody and visitation are among the most difficult issues in a divorce. Parents must consider California law, the best interests of the child and what constitutes a reasonable arrangement.
Mediation and negotiation
In these temporary arrangements, the judge will determine which parent will have temporary custody and which visitation schedule is in place. A court may order that the parents try to resolve these issues through mediation.
Many times, however, parents negotiate an agreement before court involvement. A parent may have full or primary custody and the other parent is granted visitation time.
A court will usually grant full custody if the parent can provide a safe and stable environment for their children.
Visitation may be difficult for a parent, especially if they do not stay in close contact with their children after divorce. Parents may seek equal custody or try to limit the time spent with them. It is important to consider visitation schedules because these may affect parents’ responsibilities for their children.
Generally, there are three types of custody. Joint custody is the most prevalent. Two parents sharing joint custody decide how to raise their children and how their time will be spent together.
Usually, courts consider joint custody to be the desired outcome. Joint custody means both parents spend considerable time with their children.
This custody arraignment is the most commonly available in court. A parent with sole custody has the authority to make all decisions on raising their children and how they will their time together.
Parents with sole custody are responsible for paying child support. Visitation time may be granted in sole custody arrangements.
Primary physical custody
This custody arrangement is the most restrictive. The parent with physical custody has full authority over the children.
That parent decides all education matters and how their time is spent after school. This parent is also responsible for all financial matters concerning their children and the support due to the non-custodial parent.
Non-custodial parents may not visit the children and have little to do with their upbringing.
Attorneys can help parents seek a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of their children. They may also represent them in court proceedings and negotiations.