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Child Custody & Visitation
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A motion, or request, conducted after the rendering of a judgment is known as a post-judgment, or post-trial motion. In family law modification requests are usually made to alter child custody, child support and alimony judgments. If you are a parent who wants to request that your child custody arrangement be modified, you should take a look at the ways that they may be altered, as well as reasons that courts will consider plausible before granting a change in custody.
It is the public policy of California to assure that children of divorce have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing, except where the contact would not be in the best interest of the child (California Family Code Section 3020).
Child custody evaluators seek to determine the "quality" of parenting of each parent and the extent to which each promotes the relationship with the other parent. This article takes a look at the factors that describe each parent’s effort to support the child’s relationship with the other parent.
This guide is designed to help you work with your co-parent to determine a comprehensive parenting plan (also known as a custody and visitation order). I believe that it is not always necessary to hire an attorney at exorbitant cost to complete your family law case successfully. This guide can be your starting place for saving as much as possible during your family law case. You CAN do it yourself, and I can help.
In making the ’best interest’ determination, the court can consider any ’relevant’ factors. The court must look to all the circumstances bearing on the best interest of the minor child.
The parties may - and are encouraged to - enter into a written stipulation agreement on custody issues. If the parties cannot agree, custody orders may be made at any time after the filing of an underlying divorce, paternity, or domestic violence action and may be modified at any time until the child(ren) turn eighteen.
The California Family Code empowers the court, during a marital court action or at anytime thereafter, to make an order for the custody of a child during minority ’that seems necessary or proper.’
’Child custody’ is a legal term that is often used by family courts to describe the rights and responsibilities of divorced parents and their minor children, the residency or placement of the children, and the relationship and/or amount of contact the children have with each parent.
Like most states, the standard for child custody determinations in California is the overall best interest of the child with an emphasis on ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the child and frequent and continuing contact with both parents absent child abuse, domestic violence, or where the contact would not be in the best interest of the child.
For many divorced and separated parents with children, there is a common answer as to why they ended up with the child custody and visitation arrangement they have: the judge decided it. In other words, the judge chose the parenting arrangement based on his or her belief of what was in the child’s best interest.
In the best interest of the child or child’s best interest is the famous mantra of the family court prevalent in child custody proceedings today, yet its interpretation by the family court or judges is often arbitrary and its meaning is still obscure.
When a custodial parent in a child custody proceeding requests a move-away order from the court allowing him/her to move a significant distance that would interfere with the noncustodial parent’s visitation and his/her contact with the children, this is commonly referred to as a move-away case.
A child typically cannot be removed from his state of domicile or residence without the prior approval of the court or judge who awarded custody. If the custodial parent moves the domicile of the minor child out of state against the wishes of the non-custodial parent and without the permission of the court, then the court may sanction orders of contempt.
In 2000, the United States Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), made a landmark decision regarding the visitation rights of grandparents. The Court held that it is a fundamental liberty of parents to make decisions concerning their child’s custody.
How important is documentation in child custody cases? It is extremely important. According to several child custody experts, one of the best means to prepare for and win a child custody trial is to provide solid documentation that can prove one’s parental capabilities and fitness.
Fighting over custody can be one of the most stressful and taxing events for you and your children because it causes such incredible emotional intensity and angst. That stress is not only felt among the parents, but also in your children whose fate is being decided, which can leave them with long lasting emotional scars.
Court mandated child custody evaluations (CCEs), Civil Code 730, are well-intended investigative instruments designed to aid bench officers in resolving custody issues.
Custody mediations and evaluations are critical in contested custody cases, yet clients routinely go into sessions without a basic knowledge about the process and what is expected of them, and often with inflexible positions on custody arrangements.
For many reasons, communities and judges react differently to fault testimony. Their reaction depends on many factors. Perhaps the community is conservative or there has been a great deal of publicity about a recent child-abuse case.
It’s a safe bet that every parent wanted to be with his or her children during this past holiday season. Unfortunately, it is just as certain that many were unable to be with their children because of a one-sided custody arrangement.

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In a summary dissolution, a hearing with the judge is typically not needed. A marriage of five years or less may be ended by summary dissolution, which is a simplified procedure to terminate a marriage in the state of California. With a summary dissolution, a joint petition is filed when 1) either spouse meets the standard residency requirement, 2) the marriage is irretrievably broken down due to irreconcilable differences, 3) the marriage is childless, 4) the wife is not pregnant, 5) neither spouse owns real estate, 6) there are no unpaid debts greater than $4,000, 7) the total value of community property is less than $25,000, 8) neither spouse has separate property (excluding cars and loans) of greater than $25,000, 9) the spouses have reached an agreement regarding the division and distributions of assets and liabilities, 10) both waive their rights to maintenance and appeal; 11) both have read a brochure about summary dissolution and 12) both desire to end the marriage.

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