An Orange County parent who lives separately from his or her child's other parent will likely have some sort of custody arrangement in place with the other parent. Whether agreed to between the parents or made up entirely by the court, this arrangement ordinarily is enshrined in a written court order.
As this blog has discussed previously, while their rights are not the same as those of parents, grandparents have certain rights to see and, at times, even have custody over their grandchildren. With respect to visitation rights, state law allows grandparents to ask a court for an order requiring that they be allowed to have contact with their grandchildren in certain circumstances, such as when one of the child's parents is deceased or the parents are divorced. Although getting such an order is more difficult when a child's parents are married, it is not impossible.
Whether or not a parent can leave the state of California with his or her children is the source of a lot of confusion, and contention, in the world of family law. Many parents may believe that the other parent can never under any circumstances leave California with the children, even for a brief vacation or day trip.
Many people in Orange County recognize that domestic violence is an ongoing problem for many California families. Although, the problem often is kept as a carefully guarded family secret, victims should never feel that they have to put up with physical violence and abuse. In fact, during this month dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence, it may be encouraging to review some of the legal options victims have when it comes to custody and parenting time.
Many times, standard child custody advice that even attorneys like to give to Orange County parents might not be workable in a parent's particular situation. Probably the best example of this is when one of the parents has committed an act of domestic violence against the other parent, as the standard child custody advice that parents should try to get along and have roughly equal time simply cannot be safely applied when one of the parents is abusive.
Previous posts on this California blog talked about a parenting plan and how couples who are not living together may need one both to keep their own lives running smoothly and to provide for the emotional and even physical needs of their children. While this is especially important when parents are not getting along and need some clear and detail rules by which to abide, a parenting plan is still a good idea, even when the couple that is splitting is generally able to work things out with respect to their kids.
There's no question that life in general can be tough for kids to cope with, especially when they are in the midst of a child custody dispute between their parents. A child who has witnessed or a divorce or who has just had to learn that their parents are going to live apart from each other permanently may need some help from a mental health professional to cope with these issues.
Despite the warnings about how important it is for parents to get along with each other when it comes to parenting time, for many reasons, sometimes this is a challenge for Orange County, California, couples.
As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, one option for resolving a child custody dispute is for the parents to go to mediation. Basically, a mediator will work with each parent and others in order to help the parents come to some resolution with respect to their custody and parenting time disputes.
This blog has mentioned the concept of joint custody before, but it may be helpful for Orange County parents to have a refresher on exactly what "joint custody" means, as the term can sometimes be used in different ways. A true joint custody arrangement implies that parents will split the time they have with their children 50-50 insofar as possible. A perfectly even split may not, however, be practical due to parents' work schedules and other reasons.