2016: Custody and Visitation Procedures for Residents of Rancho Bernardo in San Diego Superior Court

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGAL CUSTODY AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY FOR RANCHO BERNARDO RESIDENTS IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SAN DIEGO?

Legal custody refers to making decisions regarding health, education and welfare. These can include decisions on doctors and therapy as well as schools and vaccinations and other health decisions and religion. In San Diego Superior Court, the vast majority of parents have joint legal custody. There are some circumstances, such as when a military member is deployed overseas or one parent is in custody or convictions of crimes such as sexual molest, that a sole legal custody order may be granted. Physical custody refers to the parenting plan itself. The legal standard that the Judges use is called “best interests”. The best interest factors include bonding, stability, frequent and continuing contact as well as which parent is the most likely to promote and foster and encourage visitation with the other parent. Of course, this is very subjective standard. The Law Firm of Doppelt & Forney, a Professional Law Corporation can help you analyze these factors for your case.

HOW DO YOU FILE FOR CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS IN SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT AND WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR MEDIATION AND COURT?

In order to ask the Judge for custody and visitation, there must first be an open family law case. This may be a petition for divorce, paternity or legal separation. Once a case number is obtained, then a motion [called request for order] may be filed asking for parenting plan orders. Once this motion is filed, there will be two court dates set: mandatory mediation at Family Court Services and a hearing before the Judge. California is a mandatory mediation state. What this means is that before a Judge will make an order for visitation and custody [absent abuse, molest or neglect or other emergency], the mother and father must attend the mediation. Family Court Services is part of the County of San Diego Superior Court and is staffed by professionals who meet with fathers and mothers and try to have agreements reached. If an agreement can be reached, then the mediator will write up the parents agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the mediator will make a written recommendation as San Diego is a recommending county. A copy of the written recommendation will be given to both parents and the Judge. The Judge will follow the recommendations most of the time. All cases are different and parenting plans differ as well. One template parenting plan, which allows for frequent and continuing contact, bonding and also minimizes exchanges is as follows: one parent has Monday and Tuesday and the other parent has Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, Saturday and Sunday rotate. The attorneys at Doppelt & Forney, a Professional Law Corporation can help prepare and file your motion and also discuss the mediation process in much more detail as well as what individual parenting plan would be best for you.

FACTS ABOUT RANCHO BERNARDO

Rancho Bernardo is part of the Poway Unified School District and has a very good reputation. Many parents move to Rancho Bernardo to take advantage of the primary and secondary schools. Primary schools include Westwood, Painted Rock, Chaparral, Turtleback, Shoal Creek, Highland Ranch and Creekside. Secondary schools include Rancho Bernardo High School and Bernardo Heights Middle School. The main highway for Rancho Bernardo is the I-15. The population of Rancho Bernardo is under 100,000. Rancho Bernardo is convenient for both the Vista and main San Diego family law courts. The Law Firm of Doppelt & Forney, a Professional Law Corporation is located in Rancho Bernardo at the Bernardo Center Drive exit off the I-15.

HOW CAN AN EXPERIENCED LOCAL LAW FIRM HELP?

The Law Firm of Doppelt & Forney, a Professional Law Corporation has helped many parents and spouses. Their office offers a complimentary consultation up to 30 minutes in their office with a licensed California attorney. You can discuss your individual case and obtain valuable legal advice. Feel free to schedule your appointment today.

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Phone Number: 800.769.4748
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