Divorce: Child Custody / Spousal Support and a Cheating Spouse: 2013 in San Diego

In San Diego, a “no-fault divorce” is allowed and is the standard of law. This is a straightforward arrangement where neither party in the marriage needs to blame the other, and prove that party at fault for actions which are the primary cause of the divorce. In many cases, one party is actually to blame because of errant actions, but since it is a no-fault state it makes no difference at all as to the custody, visitation, spousal support, child support and division of assets and debts.

Integrity Favored

But what if the nature of misconduct is cheating? While cheating will not affect the way the marital assets are distributed, it can affect maintenance (often called alimony) if there is cohabitation with a person of the opposite sex. It may also affect child custody if the new partner is a convicted child molester or being with the child would be dangerous. This really should not surprise anyone, why should it? It is good to see common sense applied to aspects in law and in society in general.

What does child custody mean?

Child custody describes the practical and legal relationship between a parent and the child which encompasses making decisions and caring for the child. Child custody could also include “guardianship” where the court entrusts custody of the child to a guardian [non parent] if in its opinion this is in the best interest of the child and in accord with the law.

Child custody is a subject which generally arises when parents separate in cases of divorce and annulment or legal separation or paternity. It is a legal action which involved the children of the union. As far as it is practical, the law will allot joint custody to the parents of a child born of a marriage where both parents have equal rights to the custody of the child.

However, the court’s decision about the residence of the child and the actual parenting plan will be guided by what it sees as the most beneficial to the child’s interest. More and more in legal parlance, custody, and visitation is being called a “parenting schedule” to eliminate the negative aspersions which arise from the distinction between a parent who obtains custody of the child and the parent that does not. The term “non custodial parent” can be considered pejorative.

Who makes the decision?

The question of child custody is invariably governed by the San Diego Superior Court Judge if the parents cannot reach a decision themselves. The best procedure is for parents to agree on the legal and physical custody since parents know what is in the their children’s best interests for bonding, stability and frequent and continuing contact. In a divorce case, the Court presides over the proceedings and determines which parent/guardian receives child custody. While San Diego law applies the “best interest of the child” guideline, there are also other considerations and each case is unique and different.

A Proven & Committed Law Firm

Doppelt & Forney, APLC of San Diego is an attorney with over two decades experience in all aspects of family law. Child custody, child rights, and child support are in its areas of expertise apart from divorces, annulments, and separations in general. The firm provides a free 30-minute initial consultation to evaluate your case.

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