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child custody Archives

The age of a child and its role in custody matters

When actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ended their marriage, Californians watched closely to see what would happen to their wealth, their careers and their children. While Jolie apparently retained custody of their kids in the following months, Pitt continued to play a role in the children's lives. Recently, though, a court has ruled that changes must be made to the structure of the former couple's custody plan to ensure that the kids continue to have a relationship with their dad.

Child custody plans can change as children's needs change

Parents often watch in amazement as their kids acquire new competencies and skills. A San Francisco parent may marvel at the grace of their young child moves when only months before they were a clumsy toddler. The parent of a teenager may lament the passage of time as they assist their high schooler with college applications. Despite their efforts, parents cannot stop their children from growing into the special individuals that they were destined to become.

Can my ex's new spouse adopt my child?

The structures of California families are subject to change when parents' divorce or separate and create new relationships with new partners. A child may have a biological mother and father as well as a step-mother, step-father and step-siblings if their biological parents enter into subsequent legal relationships. However, a parent generally does not lose their rights to their child when their ex-partner remarries. This post will examine how parental rights are established despite changing family structures.

My ex and I can't agree on a religion for our child

It is important that parents work to preserve their parental rights if they go through separations or divorces so that they may stay involved in the important decision-making processes that go into raising their children. For example, a California parent who has sole or joint legal custody of their child should be able to voice their preferences and concerns regarding important issues, such as schooling and religion, and have their sentiments acknowledged by the courts. However, when parents simply cannot agree on how these topics should be addressed and courts must make decisions for them, there are a number of factors that must be weighed.

A child's best interests should govern custody decisions

Readers of this blog who have kids or who spend time around children may have noticed that despite being similar in age, two children may be very different people. Consider two 5-year-olds and how their personalities and characteristics may diverge. One may be outgoing and loud while the other may be reserved and quiet. One may have strong academic skills and the other may struggle to complete basic tasks. One may have significantly stronger control over their emotions than the other, who may succumb to difficult situations and regress to tears. There are an infinite number of ways that children can differ from each other and those differences make every child unique.

When is sole physical custody appropriate?

Readers of this blog may know that there are two forms of custody that may affect parents' rights and responsibilities to their children: legal custody and physical custody. While legal custody allows a parent to have a voice in the decision-making processes of raising their child, physical custody concerns a parent's right to have their child live with them in their house. Many California parents share physical custody of their kids but, in some cases, sole physical custody is granted to one parent.

How is child custody decided in California?

For parents going through a divorce, there is a fear they will lose some of their relationship with their children as time becomes divided between parents. They may be especially worried that they may not receive custody of their child. How are custody decisions made in California, and how do they affect the children's relationships with their parents?

How does legal custody differ from physical custody?

California parents often worry about their children. Even if their kids are well-adjusted, successful in school and thriving in their activities, their parents may have concerns about their health, happiness and well-being. It is natural for parents to want what is best for their children and to want to do whatever they can to provide love and support for their offspring.

What is a parenting plan?

Under California law, the term "parenting plan" is used to inform how physical and legal custody will be shared. The Court is empowered to determine a parenting plan that is in your children's best interests. The Court can order joint physical custody, sole physical custody to one parent and visitation to the other, joint legal custody or sole legal custody.

Factors that California courts may consider during custody cases

Getting married and starting a family is one of the highlights of your life. It can be incredibly rewarding to fill one's home with love and laughter as relationships between parents and children strengthen and expand. For many in the Bay Area, minor hiccups in the happiness and stability of their family life may surface from time to time without causing major problems for the members of the households. However, for others disputes and conflict may drive irreparable breaks between spouses and lead once happily married partners to divorce.

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