AUBURN CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY, Sara S. Thompson – Without a doubt, this is the primary focus and concern of the majority of people going through a dissolution or paternity action. The love that a parent has for their child(ren) is unmatched to anything else.
There are two ways you can obtain a custody and visitation order. 1) file a motion with the court; or 2) draft an agreement, signed by all parties and the court.
When the court is making orders regarding child custody and visitation they look at what the best interest is of the child. There are two types of custody orders.
Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. Legal custody can be either joint (common in California) or sole (to one parent).
Physical Custody: Physical custody refers to where a child primarily lives and who they are under the supervision and control of. Physical custody can be awarded to one parent alone (sole physical custody) or jointly. California does not favor one over the other, but rather looks to the best interest of the child(ren). If one parent is awarded sole physical custody that means the child(ren) lives with and is under the supervision of that parent. If the parties share joint physical custody the child resides with both parents and each parent has significant periods of physical custody so that the child(ren) has frequent and continuing contact with each parent. Joint physical custody does not mean that the child(ren) has to live with each parent exactly half of the time.
The parent that has the child less than half of the time typically has visitation with the child(ren). There are many different types of visitation.
Visitation Schedule: Typically it is best to have a visitation schedule that the parties follow. Not every case has the same schedule and the focus is on developing a schedule that is in the best interest of the child(ren).
Reasonable Visitation: Some cases will have “reasonable visitation”. In these cases there is no set schedule that the parties follow but rather the parties’ work out the visitation time between each other.
Supervised Visitation: Under some circumstances the court could order supervised visitation with the supervision done by the party, a neutral third person, or agency supervised.
No Visitation: If in the child’s best interest, the court could order no visitation.
When child custody and visitation is before the court, typically the parties will attend mediation. The mediator will help the parents to come up with a custody and visitation agreement. However, if they are not able to make an agreement or only have agreements on a portion of the issues, then the mediator will make a recommendation to the court on what they believe will be in the best interest of the child(ren).
Do you need assistance with initial orders or a modification to an existing child custody and visitation order? To discuss your circumstances with a compassionate, and caring Auburn child custody attorney, call the Law Office of Sara S. Thompson, PC.