Kevin Qualls Family Law
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What does a child custody order cover in California?

Often children find it emotionally painful to see their parents get a divorce. As parents squabble and fight over many issues, including child custody, their raw emotions are exposed. They worry about who will have primary child custody and who will pay for child support.

It is important to remember that when a court endorses a child custody order, it has the stamp of approval of a judge. Therefore, it is very important that a copy is kept by the parents in a safe location. If other individuals are involved in the child custody process, then they need to have a copy of that order as well. The court order must clearly outline visitation arrangements for both the custodial and non-custodial parents. Even such minute details such as where the child will spend the child's birthday, vacation and holidays needs to be addressed in the court order.

If there are significant changes in the child custody order, then that needs to be approved by the court. These changes must include very specific details including the time-sharing arrangements for the child, the drop-off and pick-up arrangements of the child from school and other details, including medical care.

If a parent does not follow the child custody order, then the other parent can contact their local police department and request that they enforce the order. The district attorney can also file a contempt of court order. Child custody orders are a serious matter and a parent may need the support of an attorney.

Source: California Courts, "Enforcing a Custody Order," accessed on Nov. 25, 2014

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