Call Today!

626.788.9864

Recent Posts in Child Custody Category

  • What is the benefit of having a judgment (permanent order) for custody and visitation as opposed to a findings and order after hearing (temporary order)?

    The goal in a family law case is to obtain a judgment on the issues of custody and visitation. The reason being is that to change a judgment custody order requires a substantial change in circumstances which is a much higher burden than the best interest standard (which is the requirement in a pre-judgment order). The court has found that a change of school or work schedule does not meet this ...
    Continue Reading
  • What are the new developments to Los Angeles County Conciliation Court Agreement for parents to be aware of?

    In Los Angeles County, prior to the Court making orders for Child Custody and Visitation, the parties are required to attend mediation. The proper term for this mediation is Conciliation Court where the parties meet with a MFT to discuss parenting plans in an effort to reach an agreement which is memorialized into a writing and submitted to the Court. The Court has recently inserted language in ...
    Continue Reading
  • What Is Legal Custody?

    Legal Custody is defined as the right to make certain decisions regarding the parties= minor children as well as the obligation to share certain information with the other parent. As with physical custody, there are two types of Legal Custody (Sole & Joint). Common decisions that are involved with Legal Custody include, but are not limited to the following: 1) Selection of Doctor, Dentist, Mental ...
    Continue Reading
  • How does being a sex offender or living with a sex offender effect a parent's right to custody and visitation?

    The Court may modify or terminate a prior custody order if either a parent is convicted of a felony that requires him or her to register as a sex offender or lives with a person who is required to register as same. There is a rebuttable presumption that the child is at significant risk of harm to either be in the custody of a parent with such a conviction or if that parent's resides with another ...
    Continue Reading
  • If my custody order sets forth that I have "reasonable" or monitored visitation, must I show a change of circumstances to modify my judgment (final order)?

    Often I have clients bring in judgments (paternity or dissolution) setting forth a "reasonable" visitation schedule and informing me that they are having issues with the other parenting in seeing their children. This is typically followed by the question, "What is reasonable?" For whatever reason there is a box on judgment forms that a party can check that says 'reasonable visitation." However, ...
    Continue Reading
  • How do I terminate a guardianship order and have my children returned to me?

    A parent seeking to terminate the guardianship has the burden to show the following in order to terminate the guardianship: a) that the initial basis for ordering the guardianship no longer exists & b) that she or he is fit to resume custody. For example, if a parent lost custody of their children due to a drinking problem that resulted in the injury to their child and guardianship was granted to ...
    Continue Reading
  • I exercise more parenting time then is set forth in my judgment, am I in a better position to oppose a move away hearing then someone whose is designated as a non-custodial parent in the judgment?

    As stated elsewhere, where the parties have Joint Physical Custody (both parties have substantial amounts of parenting time), the Court must consider a move away request de novo and with both parents being on a level playing field. This is in stark contrast to one party being the primary custodial parent who would then have the presumptive right to relocate with the child. However, if the ...
    Continue Reading
  • Is there a different standard in a move away case between parties having a temporary vs. a permanent order for custody and visitation?

    Yes, if you have a temporary order that was the result of a Request for Orders or Domestic Violence Restraining Order hearing then the standard is always what is in the best interest of the child and neither parent has a presumptive right to relocate with the child and are on a level playing field. However, when a permanent order is made (such as a Judgment or Dependency Court Exit Order), there ...
    Continue Reading
  • In a move away case, does it matter whether I am the custodial or non-custodial parent?

    The custodial parent has the presumptive right to change the residence of the minor child and is not required to show the move is necessary, but rather that the move is not prejudicial to the child's best interest. This presumptive right does not apply to the non-custodial parent and they are saddled with the burden of showing that the move is detrimental to the child's best interest. If the ...
    Continue Reading
  • Changing the Name of Your Child

    In a California paternity case, can the father asked to have the surname (last name) of the child? Whether the Court will change a child's last name or not depends on various factors that I will set forth in a moment. To be clear, fathers do not have a "primary right" to have the child bear his surname. Now the factors considered by the Court include: The length of time a child has used a ...
    Continue Reading
  • Sexual Orientation & Child Custody

    How does a parent's sexual orientation or behavior impact a California child custody order? Whether a parent is heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, transgender, or unknown/changing orientation, the Court will not involve itself in imposing its views on the parents regarding the parent's sexual preference. In addition, the Court will not disqualify a parent from obtaining a custody when that ...
    Continue Reading
  • Factors Considered by the Court When Evaluating a Child's Environment

    What factors do the Court consider in determine the stability of a child's environment? A common outcome in the early stages of child custody proceedings is that the Court is very inclined to maintain the status quo. That is, if the parties, prior to separation or litigation, have an established parenting plan, the Court will likely adopt that plan (with exception) as a temporary order pending ...
    Continue Reading
  • Afraid of Going Back to Court for a Modification Order?

    The other parent keeps threatening to take me back to Court, what can I do to minimize or prevent this from happening? Often times I have clients provide with a mediation agreement or an Order After Hearing telling me they thought the case was done and that the orders they had were permanent orders. This is not the case. In fact, these initial orders are referred to as temporary orders that are ...
    Continue Reading
  • A Parent's Religion and Determining Child Custody

    Does my religious belief have any impact on my custody or visitation rights in a California child custody case? The issue comes up from time to time when one parent insists on having every Sunday so that they may take their children to his or her religious services. The Court will not make these types of orders nor will they evaluate one parent's religious belief over the other parent's belief. ...
    Continue Reading
  • Going Back to Court Because of a Child Living Preference

    The other parent has threatened to take me back to Court because our child now says they want to live with the other parent. What should I do? Although the Court shall consider a child's preference, the Court is not bound to make orders solely on that preference. If the Court finds that the child's preference conflicts with what is in the best interest of the child, the Court will not make orders ...
    Continue Reading
  • How Your Children Can Express Their Preferences

    How do I alert the Court that my child has a preference and how does the Court inquire as to what the child's preference is? To answer the first question, the child's desire to express their preference to the Court may be brought to the Court's attention by Minor's counsel, Court investigator, mediator or party. Or their attorney indicates to the judge that the child wishes to address the Court or ...
    Continue Reading
  • The Child's Preference in a Child Custody/Visitation Case

    In a California child custody case, how old does a child have to be to express a preference as to where they want to live? There are two age groups that come into the analysis: 1) Under the age of 14 but is at a sufficient age to reason as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation, and 2) 14 or older and the child wishes to address the Court. In the former group, the Court must ...
    Continue Reading
  • It Really Is All About the Child?

    How about me? Aren't my interests as the parent as equally as important as the interests of our children? The Court's utmost priority and goal is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the child, while ensuring the frequent and continuing contact of the child with both parents. The parent's interest cannot be considered by the Court EXCEPT as it effects the best interest of the child. In ...
    Continue Reading
  • Has Your Child Expressed A Preference in Their Living Situation?

    In a California child custody case, how old does a child have to be to express a preference in living situation? There are two age groups that come into the analysis: 1.Under the age of 14 but if sufficient age to reason as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation 2.14 or older and the child wishes to address the Court. In the former group, the Court must consider and give due ...
    Continue Reading
  • Safeguards to Prevent Kidnapping During a Child Custody Dispute

    What are appropriate safeguards that the Court can utilize to keep a party from kidnapping or fleeing the state/country with the child? There are several safeguards the Court can utilize to keep a child safe from kidnapping/abduction. The more practical ones that the Court may order are the following: Again, in theory, these are quite adequate to guard against a parental abduction. However, there ...
    Continue Reading
  • How to Protect Your Children from Being Abducted by the Other Parent

    I am concerned that the other parent will abscond with or abduct our child. What should I do? Another concern that comes up by parents is a fear that the other parent will kidnap the child or take the child out of the country without the other parent's permission or consent. It may be the case where one parent is not a citizen of the US or has a large family in another state or another country. To ...
    Continue Reading
  • Hesitant to Report Abuse Because You Fear Losing Custody

    I am concerned that if I attempt to report my suspicions of child abuse that I may lose custody due to the laws against false child abuse reporters. What can I do? No parent shall be placed on supervised visitation or have custody or visitation denied or limited because the parent made a report or took other lawful action based on a reasonable belief that the child was a victim of abuse (FC ...
    Continue Reading
  • If I Was Raped, Does the Father Have Rights to the Child?

    I was raped by the father of my child, does that parent have rights to custody and visitation with my child? Under Family code 3030, a parent whose child was conceived as the result of raping the other parent AND who was convicted of that crime shall not be granted custody. Keep in mind that a mere allegation of rape is not sufficient to deny custody to the other parent. There must be an actual ...
    Continue Reading
  • How Do Registered Sex Offenders Effect Custody & Visitation Orders?

    Do registered sex offenders have rights to custody and visitation with their children in family court? The mere fact that a parent or someone that the parent lives with is a registered sexual offender is prima facie (concrete) evidence that the children are at significant risk and that unsupervised contact with the other parent is not what is best for the child. I have seen situations where a ...
    Continue Reading
  • Do Allegations of Child Abuse Affect a Child Custody Order?

    Does the Court consider physical and sexual abuse committed by one parent towards the child in making custody orders? If these types of abuse allegations are made during a custody proceeding and the Court has concerns regarding the child's safety, the Court may deny or severely limit the visitation of the children with the alleged abuser. The Court may also refer the matter to the local child ...
    Continue Reading
Page 1 of 2