San Diego Child Custody

Our San Diego Child Custody Lawyers are here to help you through your case. Call The Law Offices of Doppelt and Forney, APLC today at 800-769-4748 to schedule your free consultation. We understand when minor children are involved in a divorce, emotions run even higher. A San Diego child custody lawyer can help you understand your rights and give you peace of mind during your child custody case.

Temporary Orders

When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the spouses usually moves out of the house immediately, and the family dynamic changes. This causes a particularly large problem for spouses with minor children, especially considering the divorce process can take from 6 months to even years. In San Diego child custody cases, family law judges can make temporary orders before an official settlement has been reached. These temporary orders are put in place and followed until an official judgement has been entered.

Mediation

After a motion is filed for temporary custody and visitation both spouses will be required to attend mediation. In mediation, a third-party mediator will assist the parents resolve any disagreements about the parenting plan. Mediation usually lasts between one to three hours. While lawyers are not able to go to mediation with you, it is advisable to speak with a lawyer before mediation so you can better understand your rights and ways to come to an agreement.

According to the California Courts website, the three goals of mediation are:

  1. Help you make a parenting plan that is in the best interest of your children.
  2. Help you make a parenting plan that lets your children spend time with both parents.
  3. Help you learn ways to deal with anger or resentment.

After mediation, there will be a hearing. The mediator provides a report to the court, and the judge usually follows the recommendation of the mediator in regards to physical and legal custody of the minor children.

Legal Custody vs Physical Custody

Legal custody involves the right to make decisions about your children’s upbringing. For example, legal custodians have the right to decide where they go to school, their religious affiliation, etc. Most of the time, parents have joint legal custody.

Physical custody is in regards to where your child resides. With joint physical custody, the child spends significant time with both parents. However, this does not mean time will be split 50/50. If you have joint custody, you need to create a schedule that works well with both parents and the child. Common schedules are:

Alternating weeks – The child lives with one parent one week, and the other parent the next.

2-2-3 Schedule – The Child lives with one parent for 2 weekdays, the other 2 weekdays, and alternate Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

3-4-4-3 schedule – The child lives with one parent for 3 days, the other for 4 days, then the first parent for four days and the second parent for three days.

Every Weekend – The child lives with one parent during the week and the other parent for on weekends.

With sole physical custody, a child resides with the custodial parent all of the time. The noncustodial parent is still allowed frequent contact and visitation. Sometimes, the court orders only supervised visitation or no visitation at all if there is a history of abuse or abandonment.

Many times, one parent has sole physical custody, but both parents share joint legal custody. In this case, the custodial parent can make many decisions about their child’s regular routine, but the other legal custodial parent will still need to be involved with issues regarding the child’s upbringing, such as religious practice.

If you need assistance with your child custody case in San Diego or need to file a motion for modification of child custody, we recommend you consult with a family law attorney immediately.

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