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For most parents, coming to an agreement about custody and visitation guidelines and regulations are the most important issues to address when filing for a divorce. The parenting plan, along with visitation guidelines and custody rights, are the most significant issues that the Judge will address. Securing care and support of minor dependents, along with standard divorce issues such as the division of assets and the division of debts, are vital pieces of the divorce case puzzle.
Having a skilled and experienced family law attorney on your side will make the entire process easier and less stressful. No matter how complex or involved your divorce may seem, it is essential to be well-prepared for your divorce case and start to think of how you would want your community estate divided. Our Poway child custody lawyers will prepare you for this mandatory mediation from the start. We will go over your legal rights and responsibilities and ensure you understand the process involved with proving paternity, setting up visitation guidelines, and providing child support under California family law.
In California, when minor dependents are involved and parents cannot reach an agreement, there is mandatory mediation that the parents will need to go through. In all custody and visitation cases, this mediation requirement must be satisfied before any Judge passes custody and visitation orders. The only exception to mandatory mediation is in unique cases involving emergency circumstances such as abuse, molestation, neglect, runaway risk, and other very specific factors that are not common in Poway divorce and custody hearing cases. This mandatory mediation is necessary to ensure that the needs of the child(ren) remain the number one priority throughout the divorce process. In San Diego Family Law Court, this process is called Family Court Services. This is a County of San Diego Agency which utilized Licensed Clinical Social Workers to meet with parents prior to the court hearing. The mediator will make a written recommendation to the Court if no agreement is reached. Preparing for this mandatory mediation is a very recommended strategy.Understanding Child Custody and Child Visitation Rulings in Poway
When it comes to custody, visitation, and support cases in Poway, there are two general categories cases fall into: legal and physical.
Legal custody refers to instances where a parent has a say in health, education, and welfare related to the daily care of the minor child. In most cases, legal custody is joint between both parents. There are instances when sole legal custody is granted if there is abuse, neglect, molest, addiction, and other serious and potentially dangerous situations and conditions. In addition, the Court can order supervised custody schedules where one parent can have partial custody rights so long as they are supervised and not alone with the child at any time during their time together. Our Poway family law attorney team will walk you through the process and will explain how this process works if an agreement between the parents cannot be reached.
Physical custody considerations are also taken into account during divorce and custody mediation. This ruling from the Judge can be jointly shared or given to a single parent with the other sharing visitation rights. Child visitations are normally planned in advance and take into consideration things like school schedules, holidays, and shared family times. Additionally, there are usually weekly or monthly times set up where the parent without full custody can have time with their child(ren). While there is not as much flexibility with a set visitation schedule, it helps cut down on arguments and tension between parents and makes the experience less stressful and disruptive for the child. Our California divorce experts can walk parents through the process of setting up visitation schedules and guidelines as part of our mediation services at our local family law firm.
A less common approach that some parents take is known as “nesting.” In this type of shared custody, the child stays at the same residence at all times, with the other parents coming and staying in the home during their scheduled visitation. Given that there can be a great deal of animosity, tension, and bitterness following a divorce, many parents do not like the idea of staying in the same house as their ex-wife or ex-husband, even if it is just for a few days each month. If this is an option parents want to consider, our child custody legal team can assist with all aspects of this child custody and visitation setup.Determining Child Custody Placements
For all Poway child custody and child support rulings, the number one goal is to determine what is best for the child. The standard is “best interests of the child,” which can involve many considerations and factors. What is best for the child can be impacted by things that include at-home stability, caretaking, visitation, emotional support, financial concerns, encouraging relationships with parents, and more. This is why working with a local Poway family law attorney include is a very good way to ensure your legal rights are protected and your legal goals are 100% focused.
Unfortunately, of all the topics that can come up during divorce mediation and discussion, child custody, child visitation, and child support consistently rank among the most contested and most fought-over. When minor children are involved, there is often a great deal of financial stress, fighting, arguing, and emotional trauma involved.Choosing Your Poway Family Law and Child Custody Attorney
Choosing the right attorney for you can be the only thing that separates you from hating your divorce experience and getting through the process. An experienced child custody lawyer in California will try to assist their client in reaching a reasonable resolution of the parenting plan, reduce the tension and conflict between the parties, and not escalate it.
The right attorney is vital to the entire process of a divorce case and can significantly impact the end results, and the aftereffects parents and children alike must contend with. While it is true that no family law attorney can guarantee results or that the ruling from the Judge will be, working with proven experts will give you the best chance of getting the results you seek in your divorce case. It will also be easier to avoid the most common mistakes couples make as they work through the process of filing for a divorce in Poway, California. These mistakes include the ten most common:Mistake One – Seeking Legal Advice From Family or Friends Rather Than an Attorney
While it is one thing to ask friends and family for recommendations or advice on a local mechanic, where to get lawn care, and similar tasks, however, seeking legal advice from anyone other than legal experts immediately is just asking for problems. When dealing with divorce cases, the only appropriate response is to seek advice from local legal experts who are familiar with divorce, child custody, and visitation proceedings.Mistake Two – Ignoring Court Orders or Failing to Uphold Your Part of the Agreement
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when facing a divorce case hearing is to be combative during the process. While it is true that you do not want to let someone walk all over you, being combative for the sake of simply being difficult to work with will never end well. Deliberately lying, failing to follow instructions, and not keeping your part of any agreement reached will always end badly for you.Mistake Three – Trying to Hide Marital Assets and Lying to the Judge
Never try to hide assets or lie about what money, investments, savings, and financial accounts you own. Lying about these sorts of things is a guaranteed way to take a simple but maybe painful divorce case and make it far worse. You don’t want to be dealing with a divorce and criminal investigation for fraud, perjury, or financial-related charges. Just be honest about assets and finances from the start!Mistake Four – Trying to Leverage Your Children or Turn Them Against Your Ex
Divorces can be messy and painful, especially when dealing with child custody, child support, child visitation, and other issues regarding minor children. But no good parent would ever try and use their children as a weapon or leverage against their soon-to-be ex-partner. Divorces are painful enough, and many Judges do not look favorably on those who deliberately try to use children as weapons during a divorce hearing.Mistake Five – Failing to Properly Argue Your Case for Custody and Visitation Rights
While it is true that you need to be agreeable and professional during your divorce case and not deliberately cause problems, you also cannot afford to be too quiet either. Assuming things will come up later or be dealt with at a later time in the case is a mistake. You cannot afford to be complacent. Speak your mind, as your questions, bring up points of concern, and be involved and vocal with your case from the start.Mistake Six – Not Providing Enough Documentation and Support For Your Case
Working with a skilled and experienced attorney is a great way to ensure you have the best chance of a favorable ruling from the Judge. They can help you plan and prepare for your case, but you will also need to be active and involved. You cannot leave all the paperwork and evidence gathering to your legal team. You will need to supply adequate evidence and documentation for your case if you want a successful hearing.Mistake Seven – Not Facing the Tough Issues Head-on and Hoping They Fix Themselves
Divorces are often messy, which is sadly the nature of such a proceeding. It can be difficult to face certain aspects of the marriage and relationship, especially in front of a Judge and the legal team. But avoiding issues, dodging questions, and tiptoeing around certain aspects of the divorce will only end up hurting you in the long run. You must be honest and forthcoming during the proceeding.Mistake Eight – Letting Your Emotions Get the Best of You During Mediation
Emotions often run high during divorce hearings, especially when issues with the division of assets and division of debts, along with child support and custody rights, are involved. Staying cool and professional, even if the other party is not, can be a great asset for you in your case. Keeping emotions in check and being the professional and respectful one can help you in the case and paint you in a better light with the Judge.Mistake Nine – Trying to Rush Through the Legal Process Too Quickly
Sometimes child custody and support concerns can be settled quickly and easily. Other times it is a long and drawn-out process. Most fall somewhere in the middle. No matter what your timeline looks like, it is important to not rush through things. Unless there are imminent concerns, taking your time with the process will ensure you and your child are well cared for and that all needs are properly addressed and met.Mistake Ten – Choosing to Represent Yourself Rather than Working With an Attorney
The final mistake people make with child custody and visitation cases in Poway, is that they feel they can represent themselves without the support of a family law attorney. Even simple and seemingly straightforward divorce and custody cases can become involved and have surprising issues arise, Going at it alone is almost never the right option, and you should seek legal help from divorce law experts whenever you can.Contact the Child Custody Experts of Poway Today
Many family law cases have complex and unexpected layers to them. Seemingly simple child custody and visitation cases or a fairly amicable divorce process can often become more complex and have more long-term consequences. Hiring a family law attorney ensures Poway residents have the best legal representation available to them. With the right legal support system in place, it is easier to work towards the ideal outcome for any specific divorce case and overall circumstances.
Our veteran divorce, custody, and family law team stands ready to help you handle your case. Call us today for a free consultation and to see how we can assist with every aspect of your divorce case- including child custody and visitation, child support, division of assets and debt, and any other needs or concerns you may have.