Child Custody

Child Custody 101 – The Different Types of Custody

This Child Custody 101 article was crafted for one thing – to help simplify a complex subject. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the terminology often used when referring to the subject. 

Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody

This is a big one, so let’s start with it. At a high level, there are two types of custody – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent’s responsibility to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education and overall well-being. Physical custody is just like it sounds – it refers to who lives with the child. 

Within those two buckets are several types of custody. Here are the most common.

Sole Custody of a Child

This parent is solely responsible for the child. This means exclusive physical and legal custody. The parent without custody has limited access to the child. This is often called visitation. 

Note that visitation doesn’t mean the parent can only see the child on rare occasions. It just means they don’t have the right to make decisions regarding where the child lives or things like education or the primary physician. 

Joint Custody of a Child

Joint custody means both parents have rights and responsibilities to care for the child. The first thing that may come to mind is a 50/50 split. In reality that’s difficult for everyone, so usually the responsibilities and time spent with the child lean more towards one parent than the other. Ideally, the time would be split as evenly as possible, and both parents would participate in major decisions affecting the child. 

Click here to read more about child custody laws during the holiday season.

Alternating Custody

This is where the parents alternate taking care of the child. For example, it may be that the mother keeps the children for 5 days a week, and the father keeps them for the weekend. Or maybe they stay with one parent for 3 days, then go back to the other parent’s home for another 3 days. Every family has a different arrangement that works for them. What’s important is that it works for everyone and both parents are still involved in the child’s life. 

More Types of Custody

Most situations end up in one of the situations listed above. Here are a few others that sometimes occur. 

Bird’s Nest – This is where a child lives in the same home all the time and the parents move in and out. The benefit is more consistency for the child but can be hard on the parents. 

Serial – This is where a child lives with one parent for a certain period of time (Ex: until they’re a teenager) and then they move in with the other parent for a certain time increment. 

Third-party – If the courts determine the parents are unfit to care for the kids, they can grant custody to another family member such as an aunt, uncle, grandparent or older sibling. 

Split – This is usually seen as a last resort, as it is hard on the entire family. Split custody is where one parent takes some children, and the other parent takes the others. This is difficult because children benefit from being with their siblings. Even if their parents have joint or alternating custody and the children are constantly moving from one parent’s home to the other, at least they always have each other. Split custody removes that and makes things complex. 

Do you have a question about the different types of custody? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

California Laws for Child Custody During the Holiday Season

The holidays are approaching us! When it comes to most families, the common fall and winter holidays are a great time to rest and spend time with your relatives. This can be very hard for moms and dads who have been through a divorce.

Are you planning on divorcing your husband or wife? It is imperative that you put all of your energy and time into creating a custody schedule that will be best for your children. Children need a thought out custody arrangement that also incorporates holiday plans, so that they know what to expect. 

How does a timeshare custody arrangement have an effect on the holidays?

What we mean by time custody is the time that is spent with the mom or dad. To say it an additional way, it reflects the time of physical custody with the child. You need to know the percentage of custody each parent will have. This could have an effect on how often you are allowed to see your kid.

But did you know that holidays are not exempt from this? If you would like to spend fall or winter holidays with your children, you might need to give up time spent with them during other times  throughout the year. Unless, the opposing makes an agreement with you, the time with your children cannot go above the timeshare percentage.

What about the holidays and time spent with your child?

You, as a mom or dad, are obligated to make a child custody arrangement prior to the divorcing finalization. You too need to agree on certain details about the mom and dad spending time with the children. Find an agreement with one another takes a ton of sacrifice and time. You will need to work with each other to find the best outcome for your children when it comes to holidays as well. 

Is there an age requirement for custody to be in effect for holidays?

Moms and dads to think about sharing a holiday with their kids altogether. It may be best to get along with your ex-husband or wife and spend the holidays together with your kids, rather than giving up the special day. This will most likely benefit your kids the most. 

Click here to learn a father’s custody rights!

What are some instances of custody agreement during the holidays?

You can make a custody agreement and split up holidays between each other in many ways. Below are some instances of custody agreements that have been used by moms and dads.

Switching the Holidays: Moms and dads can make an agreement to have their kids on different holidays. The holiday rotation will happen each year. For example, dad gets custody of the kids for Thanksgiving on every odd year. Mom gets kids on Thanksgiving for even year.

Splitting Up Christmas and Christmas Eve: These two days in December are very special for most families. Moms and dads will have an agreement to divide time with the children between Christmas and Christmas Eve. For instance, mom gets time with the kids on Christmas and dad gets time with the kids on Christmas Eve. 

Spring Break and Christmas Break: If moms and dads live across the country from each other, they need to make a custody agreement that meets both of the parents wants when it comes to spending time with the kids. Travelling could be expensive and take up a lot of time. Children could get anxiety and sadness when they are being sent from parent to parent. 

Do you have a question about holiday custody? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

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Father’s Custody Rights in California

In regards to kids and their parents, parents have legal rights to maintain the relationship with them. These California laws see that both the mom and dad have the same chance at being close with their kids. Also, California laws have been implemented so that the California courts or other government representatives will not be allowed to interject in the relationship between a kid and parent unless highly needed for the protection their kid. In regards to the father’s custody rights or child custody cases in California, California family law courts utilize the highest quality interests of the minor as the standard.

The Result of a Dad in a Kid’s Life

Often times, the mom is seen as the first provider and highest on the totem pole in a kid’s life. Studies have recently found that a dad or father figure also has a great effect on emotional developments and on a kid’s childhood. Many dads are known as the caring one and effective at disciplining the child. The involvement of the dad in a kid’s life makes a huge impact on how this child develops social skills, language skills and also affects cognitive development. Fathers who are supportive and loving have been shown to have a positive effect on a kid’s life.

Establishing Paternity in the State of California

When it comes to establishing a father’s paternity, it means either a child’s parents or the government has determined that a specific male individual is the kid’s father. In some cases, California law assumes the identity of the child’s dad, such as:

-When a kid is born into the wedlock and the mom’s husband is considered the kid’s dad.

-When a kid is born and a male has been in the home with the kid’s mom and acts as family, has committed to the kid, and is seen as the kid’s dad even if they aren’t related biologically.

-The kid’s fatherly needs to be known when these two circumstances are not currently happening in the home.

Click here to learn whether children have a say in child custody arrangements!

Parents should sign a voluntary declaration of paternity to make the child’s paternity known. The medical provider needs to provide the mom and the alleged dad the correct information when it comes to time sign this voluntary declaration form when a mom who is not married delivers the baby in a medical setting. During the signing of this form, both the mom and dad need to state that they are the parents to the kid. The dad’s name is legally written and signed on the birth certificate. The dad then is responsible to this kid when this is finished.

The kid may or may not be acknowledged as a party in this paternity action case if he or she is below the the age of twelve. But he or she will be considered a party in this case, if they are above the age of twelve. The court may assign a representative for the kid in these two circumstances. This person appears in court on the kid’s and represents what will most likely be in the kid’s best interests.

Do you have a question about child custody laws? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

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Do Children Have Rights in California Child Custody Cases?

Nobody gets married thinking it will end in divorce. That unfortunately usually becomes the result. A break up in marriage is a rough time for everyone who is part of the family, specifically the kids. Both parents contribute to the benefits of their kid. When the mom or dad might be the top person to care for the kid, the other parent might be giving to the child monetarily. Both of these responsibilities are important for supporting a flourishing child. Usually assistance from a great family lawyer is just as essential to your life as a parent. You should not experience this break up by yourself. Obtaining a good lawyer to represent you is crucial. The California court system will have a great understanding of your point of view and how you care for your child when your attorney manifests your case. You should steer clear of expensive errors by  letting our experienced attorneys to secure your custody rights and represent you when it comes to the needs of your children.

When do California courts listen to what kids need in these cases? A kid may want to live with one parent over the other after the split. However, is it right to include the kids in the custody disputes in court? Specifically for kids, divorce cases can be extremely traumatizing. Is it okay for a kid to witness the pain and animosity of his or her parents during the trials? We think “occasionally.”

What the child has a say in

There are many laws in California that secure the rights for the kids. Usually the courts in California want both parents to contribute financially while having joint custody. The mother, father, and the court are responsible for making decisions on the best interest of the kids and ensuring that they have a healthy environment in the custody arrangements.

Kids have a great love for their mother and father. They would like both parents to be proud of them. However, it can become hard when kids are stuck in the middle of a nasty divorce. The mother and father usually disagree on who gets the child when, child support and visitation. All of these arrangements are already confusing for kids, so it may be best to not make children choose sides and cause a stressful situation. The laws in our state are cautious in getting what they need from the kid to make a decision.

How old does a child need to be to make decisions?

Even though there aren’t laws that say a certain age a child needs to be to make custody decisions, most courts in California think that the age of thirteen or fourteen is old enough to have a say as to why they prefer to live with the mom or dad. The court will consider that the adolescent age of the child is usually difficult and that he or she has a good chance of behaving badly to cope with the split.

Click here to learn who keeps the car in a divorce!

What if the young child wants to live with one parent over the other?

In a case where a child is young, the courts need to intervene. Children usually function on emotion. They might say they want to live with one parent instead of the other for reasons that have everything to do with the parents and not a lot to do with the child. 

Do you have a question about child custody? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

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Who Gets to Keep the Car in a Divorce in California?

Which person will have the privilege of keeping the family vehicle during the divorce?  Many people have difficult financial choices to make, which makes budgets extra tight. Some family members in households only have one car or use the buses to get from one place to another. When a husband and wife decide to file for divorce, they both need to decide who will take the family vehicle. Dividing up the family property is one of the most fought over problems during a split. When it comes to custody issues, it all depends on California laws.  

Dividing Up the Property

Dividing up the property during a divorce can be a complicated issue since it is decided by the state of California. If the two divorcees agree automatically as to who gets what, they are welcome to agree on their own terms. We suggest that you retain a lawyer to get what you need in accordance with California laws. Our experienced family law attorneys will inform you about the roles of dividing your property during the break up and how to get you what you need!

Most states adhere to common law as a guideline. For example, if the husband bought and completely paid off the vehicle, then the husband owns the vehicle. If the former husband and wife have both of their names on title, each person is considered fifty percent the owner of the car. Items that are received throughout the marriage is divided up in half during the split. But this doesn’t include the things that were received as an inheritance prior to getting marries. Laws regarding community property see the couple as both contributing to the legal binding, so the courts aim to give our out the property in an equal manner. 

Although this distributions seems uncomplicated, it can get complex when one person wants to get the family car. Since California is a community property state, the husband or wife who makes the best case will win. For instance, one of the spouses could say that the car is important for them to have because they cannot take public transportation due to not being able to walk. A mother who works from home could say that they need the car to take the children to school or soccer practice.

Click here to learn sexual harassment laws in California!

If one spouse has made the most payments on the car whether it is bought or leased out, this could lead to the courts giving the car to the person who paid for it. If the car was owned by one of the spouses prior to getting married, then the car will more than likely be given to that spouse. But the opposing spouse might be able to get another item that it equivalent in value.

Arguments over the family car can get nasty, with one person taking it away and not giving it back. To prevent this issue from reaching this point, you should contact to our family law attorneys. We know how to handle the fair division of individual and marital property in divorce without the situation ending in an argument. 

Do you have a question about divorce laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Pet Custody Laws in California

You may think of your dog as your fur child, but California law would not agree. In regards to the law, they are really no different than the precious items or the home. But in more and more homes in California, splitting the pets can get pretty contentious. When you put all of your expenses together, it is no wonder that we are beginning to see a higher number of custody battles involving companion animals.

In the mid-90s, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals overturned a decision of the trial court that granted Kathryn Bennett visits with her family dog Roddy. The dog was an asset before marriage and belonged to her ex-husband, Ronald Greg Bennett, who was then awarded custody, while his ex-wife was only given visits with Roddy every other weekend and every other Christmas holiday. Ms. Bennett went back to court contending that her ex-husband was not compliant with the visitation the court had ordered.

But instead of applying her rights as a dog parent, the appeals court denied that they even existed. Pets must be awarded pursuant to the dictates of equitable distribution statute.

This ruling goes on to say that determinations as to custody and visitation will lead to continuing enforcement and supervision problems. The courts were overwhelmed with the supervision of visitation, custody and support matters related to the protection of children. They could not undertake the same responsibility as to animals.

When a judge chooses who should get the cat or dog, these factors as who spends more time with the pet, who cares for it and takes it to the vet and who brought it into the relationship in the first place needs to be considered.

When a couple is divorced fights over their dog or cat, they might not be dealing with an underlying issue. An ex who takes his or her former spouse to court over and over in regards to getting to visit the dog or pay pet bills probably is not as concerned about the dog as he or she is about controlling an ex-husband or ex-wife. In a case of divorce, the dog or cat might become a symbol of power and control and might be seen as the one entity that still loves me unconditionally.

Click here to learn child abuse laws in California!

The legal battles that involve pets can be a large emotional investment with an uncertain outcome that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The split also makes an impact on the animal. A lively pet in the past might now become depressed, He or she might sleep more, consume food less and lose interest in activities such as walking and playing with his owner. He or she might start having accidents in the house or grooming himself excessively.

You should decide what is best for your pet. Put your own feelings aside to get to that decision. You will need to consider such factors as who fed and cared for them before the divorce and who can afford to pay for their veterinary care and other expenses.

Do you have a question about pet custody in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Here Are Child Abuse Laws in California

If you’re a parent, you have most likely wondered at some point or another the things that exactly constitutes child abuse. Knowing the kinds of physical contact are acceptable could be very difficult to determine. It used to be that the parent who felt that their child needed a beating with a belt was not thought of any differently than a parent who felt beating their child was wrong. Physical punishment was actually widely accepted as an effective method of parenting.

In the present day, things are extremely different. Depending upon detailed circumstances, the smallest of physical contact could result in a criminal charge for committing child abuse. Different areas of the US have different laws governing physical contact between a parent and a child with penalties and definitions of abuse varying wildly.

The laws in California pertaining to physical child abuse are somewhat average when compared to laws throughout the United States. People facing criminal charges for committing child abuse are encouraged to contact our domestic violence defense law firm for a  free consultation. There are some instances in which parents are falsely accused.

Different Types of Child Abuse

What is considered child abuse could range from emotional, physical, sexual and neglect. There are different ways in a which a person could abuse a child. While some experts may say that emotional child abuse is as damaging if not more than physical abuse, there is no question that all different types of abuse could negatively affect a child throughout their lifetime.

The following are the types of child abuse are:

Emotional Abuse: When a parent consistently shames or humiliates a child in any way it can be considered emotional child abuse.

Child Neglect: If a parent constantly fails to fulfill their child’s basic needs, this will be considered child neglect.

Sexual Abuse: If a parent or another adult engages in physical contact with a kid’s genitals or coerces a child into creating contact with their own genitals, they are then committing sexual abuse upon a child.

Physical Child Abuse: A parent who physically hurts or injures a child on purpose they are considered physically abusive. The gray area is whether or not the parent was intentionally trying to discipline their child. If the purpose of the harm was to discipline, there are still instances in which discipline could go too far. In these cases, perpetrators could be charged and convicted for committing physical child abuse.

Click here to learn how alimony is determined in California!

 

Specific actions that can result in child abuse charges are making purposeful physical contact with a child that leaves a mark, getting involved in a physical fight with your child resulting in marks and bruises, and using a belt or another object to beat the child.

Do you have a question about child abuse laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

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This is How Alimony is Determined in California in 2019

Spousal support or alimony during a divorce is one of the most difficult things to go through. California couples need to agree who will pay money to whom and whether a spouse is going to support the other.

What is the point of having alimony is California?

This is designed to assist the spouse who earns a smaller amount of money to make the change from being married to now being without a spouse. They need the time and money to get back on his or her feet to eventually rely on themselves again after the divorce. They need to agree on how much time this alimony will last. This usually depends on the longevity of the marriage. Alimony can last a lifetime.

Alimony guidelines are applicable to the momentary support payments.

When it comes to child support, there is a calculated way that makes sure the certain amount that each person needs to pay for child support. This guideline is very clear on when this will be done. Alimony is always up for final negotiation even though there is this guideline. This is a great starting point though.

Maintaining lifestyle and its cost

When you find that spousal support is not hard enough in California, there is also a different thing that you should bring in. The cost to maintain a person’s lifestyle if one of them. The cost can vary in California, since we have so many different areas. There is no set amount of time that alimony will last. 

Click here to learn about divorce laws in California!

What happens when kids are involved?

You may have found that our state’s amount is based on how much the paying spouse makes. When you have a minor child and you need to pay child support, this will decrease the net money coming in that is available for alimony. In some areas, the alimony should be agreed upon before the child support costs. It is the opposite in California. Child supports need to be decided initially.

Many people think of the check in the mail approach.

But there are more creative ways to resolve this because some people just do not like paying the alimony. For instance, you and your spouse can agree that in exchange for not getting that monthly check in the mail, one of you will take a larger share of the community property to offset the amount of support that would have been paid out over time.

Do you have a question about alimony laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

What to Know About Divorce Laws in California

Navigating through a divorce can be a challenging and stressful procedure. There are a number of laws in the state of California that deal with divorce, and many of them can have a lot of information for you to digest.

People often wonder how they can make divorce proceedings as stress-free as possible while retaining control over their finances. Here’s a few key elements to keep in mind when it comes to the different divorce laws in California.

State law lays out a few rules for eligibility. At least one of the spouses in a divorce must have lived in California for at least six months. Additionally, one of the spouses had to have lived in the country that the divorce is being filed in for three months before actually filing. All divorce proceedings in the state must be filed through the specific county, not with the state at-large.

When it comes to divorce in California, the law regards each of them as no- fault. This means a person does not have to give a reason or otherwise prove how they were wronged by the other party while filing a divorce proceeding.

Judges in the state do not look at fault when it comes to splitting property and otherwise figuring out child support. This means actions like adultery by one spouse will not come into consideration by a judge during a legal ruling.

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There are a few steps for getting divorced in California. This process can be long because there is a six-month period between the initial filing and finalization that is mandatory.

One of the spouses can start the process by filing in the proper county superior court. Whoever files must give the other spouse copies of the divorce petition and any additional information.

After this, there are a few different avenues. Spouses who work together easily can often come up with plans for property division and child support without the help of lawyers. Otherwise, spouses can go into mediation to get some outside help for when it comes to splitting property.

Mediators can be a big asset when it comes to working through tough situations. Otherwise, the most expensive option is a divorce trial. This means both sides hire lawyers and then a judge will have the final say when it comes to the terms of the divorce. This process can be very messy and time-consuming.

California is a community property state, so two people in a marriage are considered as a single entity when it comes to owning property. This means both assets and debts are community property.

Spouses in a divorce can either decide on their own how to split community property, work with a mediator, or go to a judge and have them decide in court. An appraisal might be necessary to assign value to property so it can be divided between two people.

If spouses do not want to figure out what pieces of property go to each person, they can also arrange where one party ‘buys’ the other out on different pieces. Alternatively, some choose to just sell all property and then divide up the assets accordingly. Sometimes, couples with children decide to retain joint property over something like a family home so their children can have access to it.

Overall, the divorce process in California can be a time-consuming affair. A good lawyer is a useful advocate to have during a case since they can help navigate people through the different divorce laws and offer input as to the best course of action.

Do you have a question about divorce laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

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Facts About Maternity Leave in California

Many people find maternity leave to be complicated and challenging. Even if the laws and regulations seem daunting, it’s easy to become well-educated on the topic and gain a strong understanding about your rights and privileges as part of maternity leave. Maternity leave in the state of California is much better than most other states and you will find a lot more protection than in other areas.

Here are a few important facts about maternity leave in California.

Most pregnant women are eligible for maternity leave, no matter the type of employment they have. You have the right to take maternity leave, but employers are not required to pay you during your time off.

However, pregnant women who do take maternity leave are often eligible to go onto California’s state insurance for disabilities while they are out of the office, since illnesses related to pregnancies are considered as a disability under state law.

There are a variety of resources out there for women who want to learn more about disability insurance payments and the corresponding laws as they pertain to disability insurance.

In general, maternity leave in California is governed under the California Family Rights Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. A few requirements have to be met in order to fall under the different laws.

Employees must work for a boss who has at least 50 workers within a 75- mile radius. Employees must also have been working for at least one year with the employer and must have at least 1,250 logged work hours in the past year.

If all of these stipulations are met, the employee may take up to 12 weeks of maternity leave in a year-long period. The idea behind this length of time is to provide an opportunity for a mom to bond with their child. In addition to maternity leave, employees also have a right to take time off for disabilities that are related to the pregnancy. Employers must give time off to pregnant employees if they are disabled by a pregnancy or childbirth, or have any medical condition related to pregnancy and childbirth.

This could include a loss of a child, postpartum depression, prenatal care, postnatal care, or gestational diabetes, along with a wide swath of other illnesses and conditions.

Laws in California give a right for up to four months of maternity leave based off of a disability due to childbirth or a pregnancy. This is a separate figure than taking time off for maternity leave for the purposes of bonding.

Click here to learn about alimony laws in California!

As a result, women in California could have up to seven months of total maternity leave (depending on the circumstances of the disability associated with the pregnancy and childbirth). Maternity leave for bonding time can be taken after the leave related to pregnancy and childbirth disability.

California law allows for intermittent leave, where maternity leave can be broken up into different time periods and not taken all at once. Employers

are required to give reasonable accommodations for employees who are pregnant if a doctor has mandated it, but a doctor’s note will be required by bosses before they will make a decision.

Employers in the state are not allowed to wrongfully terminate employees due to pregnancy, and there are laws on the books against harassment that is based on pregnancy.

Do you have a question about maternity leave? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration