Posts

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!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

 

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!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

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!

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.

Click here to learn these 7 steps to avoid business fraud!

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!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Featured Image

6 Reasons a Parent May Lose Custody of a Child

There are a number of reasons a parent might lose custody of a child. Some might be pretty obvious, while others may be a bit more surprising. In general, a parent will lose custody of a child in cases of abuse, neglect, or other findings related to domestic violence.

Here are six different reasons a parent might lose custody of a child.

Abuse: One of the most common reasons a parent loses custody is due to abuse. There are a variety of types of abuse. One is physical, which can lead to burns, wounds, and scars. Often, abusers will use their hands or other objects to cause injury to a child.

No matter the jurisdiction, the law is very clear. Abuse that is reported to the proper authorities is a legitimate reason for a parent to lose custody. Oftentimes, parents who have been convicted of child abuse can lose both physical and legal custody of children and might have their parenting time severely limited, or even cut off entirely.

Click here to learn facts about child custody agreements!

Abduction: Those who choose to abduct a child can also lose custody depending on the case and where the crime took place. Some parents who choose to abduct their children can lose legal or physical custody of them depending on the circumstances.

False Allegations: Even though abuse is a well-known way to lose custody of a child, false allegations of abuse can also lead to a loss of custody. A parent that knowingly lies about allegations of physical or sexual abuse can lose custody, depending on how serious the allegations are.

This is a serious issue because the law is very clear on punishing people who try to interfere with the other parent’s lawful contact with their children by making allegations of abuse. Courts have no problem taking custody away from a parent that makes false allegations to protect the health and safety of the children involved.

Neglect: Neglect is another reason a parent might lose custody. This type of abuse centralizes around a failure to act where a child might not be getting the food and care he or she needs. Parents can lose custody by neglecting their children if a court finds the child was endangered in any way, especially if the neglect is ongoing. However, neglect can be hard to prove since it can be difficult to pick up on unless someone regularly sees the children.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence can lead to a parent losing custody of a child if the court finds it appropriate. This topic is pertinent because it usually comes up in a family law case where questions about abuse and neglect of a child are already present.

Violation Of Custody Orders: Violating orders related to the custody of children can also be a way to lose further custody, depending on the actual mechanics of the case. Violations of these types of orders can be very mundane, like being late for an exchange, to something more willful, like making a decision without talking to the other partner.

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Featured Image

What is a Child Custody Agreement?

Families that have everything planned out for them and are living the good life with their kids together under one roof feel that they may never need to learn about custody agreements and visitation schedules. But the issue is that these divorce is real and can happen to your family.

One thing spouses always need to know when getting into any commitment, especially marriage, is that anything can happen. Two partners will either stay together and happily, or things might go south and end in divorce. In most cases, children are involved.

When children are involved, one partner is going to have primary custody of them, and the other parent will have scheduled visitation rights or even have the children visit from time to time depending on the relationship of the partners after the separation.

In situations that involve mental health and or domestic violence, however, this status doesn’t apply. In general, if the spouse who doesn’t have custody over the children is reasonable, of sound mind, and is actively involved in their children’s lives, then the separated parties can come together and have a child custody agreement.

Reaching an agreement with the other partner can help you gain some form of control over the whole process. The best first step here is to prepare a visitation schedule. This will definitely help the two of you to build a healthy co-parenting relationship and allow your children to still be part of both of your lives without much stress from either of the separated spouses.

Most people usually think that having a judge decide your case is always the best option. But it isn’t. in fact, litigation needs to be your backup plan only if agreements between you and your separated partner isn’t possible. Courts can end up damaging any chance of having a good co-parenting relationship as revelations and tempers can end up flying back and forth.

Child Custody Agreement

There are three terms in a custody agreement: legal custody, visitation schedule, and physical custody. The agreement of any situation here needs to be in writing and filed by the court so as to ensure that the court order is enforced. In most situations, signatures are needed to make the agreements notarized.

Legal Custody

This has to do with the parent who will be making all of the parenting decisions on matters relating to the children’s health, welfare, and education. A joint legal custody can also be agreed upon which allows both parents to have equal rights to make such decisions about their children.

Physical Custody

This type of custody deals more with which household the children are going to primarily live in. Joint physical custody can also be agreed upon in situations where both parents will be having equal times with the kids in their homes. But in cases where the children only live with one parent and only visit the other occasionally, it is referred to as sole physical custody.

Visitation

In some situations, a visitation plan may need to be generated and agreed upon by both parents. Visitations can be every day, holidays, vacations, special days, etc. It is also important to note that each of these categories is considered separate even though they relate to one another.

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

Featured Image

How Does Age Play a Role in Child Custody Cases?

Parents dealing with child custody issues oftentimes wonder if the court takes age into consideration when deciding. Here is a break down of child custody rules by age.

Age 0-2

When it comes to infants and toddlers in this age group, the separation time from both parents should be very small. This will help reduce the child’s anxiety and maintain the bond between both the child and parents. The implication of extended separation time with children in this age group is related to the lack of long-term memory. An infant or toddler could lose an attachment with a parent fast if there is not a consistent and frequent level of contact. Contact days between the noncustodial parent and child needs to be consistent.

Read more

Featured Image

Guide to California’s Child Support Laws

What is the purpose of child support laws?

The California Family Code 4053 lays out this answer pretty well. This code teaches that the parent’s first and most important obligation is to support their child. This obligation is mutual and based on ability, a mother and father’s income and time with the child should be consistent with the child’s best interest. A child should share in the standard living of both their mother and father. Child support might improve a custodial parent’s standard of living because it would improve a child’s standard of living, meaning that it also reduces the disparity of a mother and father’s standard of living.

Read more

child custody

3 Ways to Keep Your Child Custody Case Civil

Child custody cases can be some of the most trying times of an adults’ life, but often times it’s much harder for your children. When entering into mediations, it’s important to remember why you want to be with your kids, and take an honest look at whether this is going to benefit the children or you more.

Read more