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Joshua Tree Child Support Attorney

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.

Representing Child Custody Cases in Joshua Tree, CA

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.

What Is Child Custody?

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.

How is Custody in a Divorce Determined?

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:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The child’s preference (if the child is old enough to express a preference)
  • The parent’s relationships with each other
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment for the child
  • Each parent’s employment schedule
  • The child’s extracurricular activities
  • The distance between the two homes
  • Each parent’s mental and physical health
  • Any history of domestic violence or child abuse
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.

What if the Parents Can’t Agree on Custody?

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.

What If There is a History of Domestic Violence?

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.

How Is Child Support Handled?

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.

Tips To Talking to Your Children About a New Custody Arrangement

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:

  • Be honest with your children about why the change is happening. Trying to sugarcoat the situation or lying to your children will only make it harder for them to understand and accept the changes.
  • Explain the new arrangement in simple terms. Children can become overwhelmed when they are bombarded with too much information. Stick to the basics, and explain the changes in a way that they can understand.
  • Reassure your children that they are still loved. No matter what else changes, let your children know that your love for them never will.
  • Give your children time to adjust. It’s normal for children to need some time to adjust to a new custody arrangement. Be patient and give them the time and space they need to process the changes.
  • Give space for questions and answer them calmly. It’s normal for children to have a lot of questions about the changes, and it can be detrimental to their adjustment process if those questions go unanswered. Make sure you are available to answer their questions and that you do so in a calm and patient manner.

Tips To Manage Your Emotions When Your Child Is With the Other Parent

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:
  • Focus on the positive: When you are feeling sad or angry, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation. For example, maybe you now have more time for yourself or can finally pursue a long-term goal. You also have some space to take care of items that will benefit your child once they are back in your possession, such as taking care of doctor’s appointments or picking up extra school supplies.
  • Create a support system: It can be helpful to talk to friends or family members who have gone through a similar experience. They can offer invaluable support and advice. You can also join a support group for parents who are sharing custody of their children.
  • Talk to a therapist: If you are struggling to manage your emotions, talking to a therapist can be extremely helpful. They can help you identify the root of your emotions and offer coping mechanisms to deal with them.
  • Remind yourself of the importance of co-parenting: It’s important to remember that even though you are no longer together, you both still have a responsibility to your child. Co-parenting is not always easy, but it’s important to try to make it work for the sake of your child. Even though you no longer want to be together, your former partner is still your child’s parent. It is for your child’s benefit to have the time and space to continue a healthy relationship with both of their parents.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer at The Law Offices of Athina K. Powers Today

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.