California parents need to address a variety of issues when they are divorcing. First among these issues is often child custody arrangements. Throughout the divorce process, parents not only deal with their own emotions, stresses and worries, but they also deal with their children's. It is important to most parents of the children have as easy of a transition as possible while divorcing.
When a child's parents are no longer together and a child custody order is in place, both parents are responsible for carrying out the order. This means that parents must abide by the court-approved schedule for custody and visitation over the child. The schedule could have been agreed to by the parents or could have been ordered by the court following a child-custody dispute. In either case, parents are under an obligation to follow all the terms in the order.
When parents in California choose to divorce, their intimate relationship ends. They no longer have legal obligations to one another. However, parents cannot easily separate themselves from their obligations to their children -- even following a divorce. In other words, while a marriage may end, the person's duties to the person's child do not. Therefore, people need to create a plan on how to deal with their children following a divorce. While both parents often want what is best for the children, they may have different views on how to make that happen.
The decision to file for divorce is a major, sometimes life-altering decision. This can be especially true for couples who have minor children. And, for the children, the divorce process can also be a very difficult time. One strategy that many couples employ - if they are on good enough terms despite the divorce - is to work toward a mutually satisfactory agreement regarding as many of the issues that need to be addressed in the divorce as possible. One of the biggest issues to address is usually a child custody arrangement and parenting time plan.
When a child custody dispute arises, there is one phrase that parents and other caregivers are going to hear over and over again -- the "best interests of the child." All child custody decisions -- no matter whether the dispute is between two divorcing parents, between parents who have never been married or between parents and other parties -- are going to be decided according to the best interest of the child standard. But, what exactly does this mean?
To many California parents, their children mean everything to them. They would do anything and everything in order to keep their children happy, healthy and safe. The turmoil of divorce often strengthens these desires. Therefore, during a divorce, it is easy for disputes to arise when parents don't agree on matters relating to the children.
With the national divorce rate at around 50 percent, married parents in Orange County should also note that roughly 40 percent of divorces involve children. The end of a marriage with children does not only mean acclimating to a post-divorce single-parent life, but also finding a way to address the needs of the children with your ex-spouse. There are added parenting challenges following a divorce, but divorced parents in a joint custody situation should consider the benefits a co-parenting relationship could provide.
Child custody in California can stretch emotions, cause vitriol among family members and result in hurting those who should be the focus: the children. There can be a chasm between what the parents want, what is possible and what's in the best interests of the child. A child custody dispute can lead to a significant amount of damage for everyone involved. That's why the state has put measures into place for parties to try and resolve their differences through family dispute resolution.
A recent post on this blog provided an overview of how a parent can go about enforcing a child custody order in the California courts. While parents are certainly free to try to go at it alone in court and get some justice when the other parent or custodian is depriving them of rightful custody or parenting time, this is often not a wise thing to do.
In Orange County and throughout California, one of the most frequently contested issues when a couple shares a child is a child custody dispute. These issues can be extremely damaging to everyone involved, and the parents often forget that the best interests of the child should come to the forefront. There are some instances in which the disagreement has to do with enforcing a child custody order. When this happens, it is important that the parent knows what to do in the event that the other parent is not adhering to the order.