As soon as the new year starts, one of the first things that many California residents do is throw away their old calendar and put up a new one. However, this may not be the best move to make if a person is considering filing for a divorce and wants custody of their children.
California parents going through a divorce may wonder if there is evidence showing bias on the part of the courts when deciding parental rights. Many fathers fear that a judge's bias will favor the mother, especially when it comes to child support.
When a California co-parenting arrangement gets contentious, the parties involved might act with malice toward one another, seeking to deny visitation for any reason. In most cases though, visitation rights cannot be denied unless the child is being subjected to violence, abuse, or imminent danger. Among the most common illegitimate reasons a parent might try to deny the visitation rights of the other are bitterness or resentment toward the ex or a new partner, falling behind on support payments, refusal by the child or sickness of the child.
Relationships can be complicated, especially when children are involved. California residents who have child custody on their mind, particularly when an ex-partner has started the custody process, may wonder what they can do. Here are a few things that can help an individual whose ex-spouse is filing for custody.
When family law judges in California and around the country make child custody decisions, they tend to favor co-parenting arrangements. The results of several studies suggest that children are less likely to be traumatized by a divorce if they are able to spend time with both of their parents, but making co-parenting work can be extremely difficult when one of the parents is selfish, narcissistic or bitter.
Parents in California or any other state who get divorced generally have the ability to retain a relationship with their children. In most cases, a judge will determine who has custody of the child as well as the rights of the noncustodial parent. However, it is possible that a child custody hearing will be scheduled at an inconvenient time or in an inconvenient location. Fortunately, parents may be able to appear at a hearing by phone or by video.
Traditionally, mothers usually got sole custody of their kids after a divorce. However, over the past three decades, it has become more common for parents to share custody of their children. Generally speaking, most child custody cases in California and throughout the country start by assuming that joint custody rights are in the child's best interest. In some cases, a parent may be entitled to legal custody without being granted physical custody rights.
The implementation of a child custody plan can be as hard on the parents as it is on the children. For parents in California who are moving toward a new child custody arrangement, there are a few things to keep in mind that can prepare the whole family for the transition. Among the most important things are giving the children enough notice, communication between the parents and setting the kids' expectations.
Some people believe that fathers face discrimination in California child custody cases. While in the past mothers were often believed to be the "natural" caregiver for a child, courts have long since shifted to a model that prefers shared physical custody. In fact, many studies have found that when fathers pursue custody, their claims are given a higher level of credibility in the courtroom and they are more likely to be successful than mothers. Some research has pointed out troubling numbers that could indicate that credible abuse claims are being pushed aside in decisions that could be related to stereotypical or social beliefs about fathers and mothers.
California residents facing child support issues, child custody cases and paternity questions may benefit from having a better understanding of the role that DNA testing plays in the court's decision. Many cases require some form of DNA testing before parentage can be determined.