A family starts when two people become a married couple. However, over time, the family dynamic may have completely evolved into something that no longer resembles its original blissfulness. In these situations, divorce may be the best option for all family members involved. You’re not alone if you find yourself in this predicament and needing legal assistance to help with child support or alimony payments. Everyone needs support when entering a life event that they never had any intention of experiencing. Thankfully, there are many legal resources available to help you through this tough time in your life.
At the Law Offices of Athina K. Powers, we understand how difficult child custody battles can be. We have represented many clients in the Joshua Tree area who are going through a divorce and planning custody arrangements. Our mission is to protect your relationship with your children and to help you obtain the best possible custody arrangement for your family. The dynamics of these arrangements are our specialty. Connect with us today and see how we can help you through this transition.
Child custody describes the relationship between a parent and their child. It covers both physical and legal custody. Physical custody is where the child will live, while legal custody involves decision-making power regarding the child’s welfare. This can include making decisions on their medical care, education, and religious upbringing.
The two primary types of child custody are sole custody and joint custody. In a sole custody arrangement, one parent has primary physical and legal custody of the child, while the other parent has visitation rights. In a joint arrangement, both parents have equal physical and legal custody of the child. The main differences between these two arrangements are the amount of time each parent spends with the child and the decision-making power they have regarding the child’s welfare.
There are many critical factors that a court will consider when determining custody arrangements. The most important factor is the best interests of the child to ensure that their physical, social, emotional, and educational needs are met. Other factors include:
There are copious amounts of unique information to sift through and consider when making a decision about child custody. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced Joshua Tree child custody attorney by your side who can help prepare your case and represent you in court.
If the parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, there are some alternative dispute resolution options available, such as mediation. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) helps the parents reach an agreement through facilitated discussion. A typical discussion might involve the mediator asking each parent what they want and why and then exploring possible solutions that would meet the needs of both parents and the child. It provides space for both parents to share their side of the story and to negotiate a custody arrangement that works for everyone.
When the mediation is successful, the parents will sign a custody agreement that they can then submit to the court for approval. If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will go to trial, and the judge will decide custody.
If there is a history of domestic violence, the court will consider this when making a custody decision. The child’s safety is always the top priority, so the court will take precautions to ensure that the child is not in danger. This might involve ordering supervised visitation for the abusive parent, requiring the abusive parent to attend counseling, or giving sole custody to the non-abusive parent. The only way to ensure your child is protected from an abusive parent is to share your experience with a qualified Joshua Tree child custody attorney who can immediately alert the court and take action to protect your child.
Child support is a financial contribution that the non-custodial parent makes to the custodial parent to help with the costs of raising the child. In California, child support is calculated using a formula that considers both parents’ income, custody arrangement, number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The court will order the non-custodial parent to pay a certain amount of child support each month, and this amount will remain the same until the child turns 18 (or 19 if they are still attending high school full-time).
If you are a custodial parent and the other parent is not paying child support, you can contact a Joshua Tree child support lawyer to help you enforce the support order. The divorce attorney can help you file a contempt of court action against the non-paying parent, which could result in wage garnishment, a lien on their property, or more severe penalties.
Making the decision to change your custody arrangement is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when you have to tell your children about the change. Here are a few tips to make the conversation a little easier:
When you first start sharing custody of your child, it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions. You might feel sadness, anger, anxiety, or even relief. It’s important to manage your emotions during this time so that you can be the best parent you can be for your child. Here are a few tips to help you manage your emotions:
If you are going through a child custody dispute, it’s important to have a child support lawyer on your side. At the Law Offices of Athina K. Powers, we make protecting and preserving families our highest goal. We are driven by our commitment to excellence and our dedication to protecting your rights. Contact us today to consult and plan your legal strategy with a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney.