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What if California parents do not agree on child custody?

A California divorce can be devastating for the children. While the child's parents may be relieved that the phase of their life is over, the child feels insecure and often has the desire for the parents to live together in the same home. The child may be insecure about many different things, including who will be awarded custody and who will pay child support. Typically, parents across the United States, including those in California, need to agree on a child custody agreement. However, that may not be possible if the parents do not agree on the child custody issues.

If parents are unable to come to an agreement about child custody issues, the court will make the decision on the child's behalf. The child custody arrangement can be finalized in a few steps. Visitation and custody issues can also be arranged temporarily, if there are issues that will materialize shortly. For example, if a child starts to attend a new school and the parents are not able to come to an agreement regarding the school or if a parent has plans to relocate and wants to take the child. Those are issues that need to be addressed in court.

In any trial involving child custody or visitation, the child's parents will need to meet with a counselor. The counselor is typically appointed by the court, and that person will help the parents reach an agreement about the parenting plan and child custody issues. The sessions are arranged through Family Court Services or the Conciliation Court and are held in a private section of the courtroom.

In a few California counties, the counselor will propose a recommendation after that person has met with the couple, even if the spouses are unable to come to an agreement. In other counties, the sessions are strictly confidential. The counselor will only give a report if the parents are able to come to an agreement about child custody issues. If the counselor cannot help the couple to come to an agreement, the couple will have to consult an attorney and the matter will end up in court.

Source:, "What Should I Know About Divorce And Custody?," accessed on July 1, 2015

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