Giving Children A Voice In Custody Matters
When it comes to the well-being of children, the issues are complicated, emotionally charged and highly delicate. Sadly, parents get far too caught up in their own emotions and fail to consider their kids’ concerns.
During this stressful time, you need to find a San Diego child custody attorney who can give you honest advice about your custody case.
Consider the top 10 complaints of children displayed in one of the family court departments.
- My mom/dad told me the divorce was because of me.
- My parents argue and yell at each other in front of me.
- My parent asks me about the other parent after visits.
- My mom and dad fight and hurt each other in front of me.
- I have to go to a police station when moving from one parent to the other just because my parents can’t get along.
- My parents show me court papers and tell me about things that happen in court — that scares me.
- My mom/dad tells me that I should not want to spend time with my other parent.
- I had to give up my pets when we moved out.
- Some relatives say bad things about my parents now.
- It’s hard to just be a kid and focus on kid things with my parents too busy fighting.
The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that the health, safety, and welfare of children shall be the court’s primary concern in determining the best interest of children when making any orders regarding the physical or legal custody or visitation of children.
The Legislature also finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing except in certain circumstances.
A judge must make a custody decision based on the best interest of the child.
In a custody matter, be prepared to answer these questions: Did one time the parties and the child/children live together as a family. If so, when did it stop? Who moved out? Where did the child/children live when one party moved out? After separating were the parties able to reach any agreements for visitation? If so, what was the arrangement? How long did you exercise the schedule? Who did most of the parenting? Who took the child/children to school? Who attended parent teacher conferences? Who did the cooking? Helped with homework? Took the child/children to play dates and extracurricular activities? Who was responsible to taking the child/children to their medical appointments. If separated, what are your living arrangements? Where would the child/children sleep? When you’re working who cares for the children if they are young? How close is the school to your residence? How close do you live to the other parent?
My Approach To Child Custody
Custody issues are scary. Knowledge is power and I educate my clients to the risks and possible outcomes so they can make an informed decision. I believe that the best approach is to try to reach an agreement and compromise with the other parent because you know your child better than the judge, who may only see a party for a limited time in court. By finding common ground, you maintain some control over the outcome. When it comes to legal costs, honesty and transparency are of paramount importance. Litigating in court can be very expensive and takes away control of not only the costs, but also the orders that may not suit you. While I will always attempt to reach a settlement outside court, reaching an agreement is not always possible, especially if the other parent is not willing to compromise. .