When children are involved, divorce can become much more complicated. Even if a divorce ends amicably, the passage of time and changes in living situations can create some lasting scars. That is why it is important to create a Child Custody agreement that can withstand time and change. We strive to create an agreement that both parents agree to before the case goes to court, but we are prepared to fight for you, if we need to. Because of these complications, Lisa J. Mendes believes that child custody should be handled by a lawyer, and that you must act quickly and decisively regarding child custody issues around a divorce. Understanding what to expect from the courts, and agreement on how to deal with children can make a divorce go much more smoothly.
Court Principals In Child Custody Cases
Here are the common principles followed by Contra Costa courts when it comes to child custody:
- The child comes first – The courts will always do what they feel is in the best interest of the child. We can help you evaluate if a sole custody will work, or if you can expect a joint custody judgement.
- Both parents are responsible for the support of their children.
- Physical or sexual abuse disqualify anybody from getting custody of a child.
- The child’s home must be stable and there should be some guarantee of continuity, or no change in the status of the home.
- The court will not want to separate siblings, nor will it be easy for a custodial parent to move away from the non-custodial parent.
- A child’s wishes may be considered, but they must be old enough to voice their preferences.
As you consider how the courts will view your case, you should adopt some principles that will help your child deal with divorce, now and after your divorce is complete:
- Always speak positively about your ex regardless of the situation. Your child still has a relationship with them, and complaints and negative talk will frustrate them and perhaps alienate them from you.
- Live up to your parental obligations, especially when it means showing up on time and spending time with your children. And if your ex does not live up to their obligations, don’t complain in front of the children.
How We Handle Child Custody Services
Our services regarding child custody include:
- Helping you learn how your unique case may be evaluated by Contra Costa judges.
- You should understand and be ready to argue for a custody arrangement that makes sense, including the time and place of custody.
- Do you need to change your custody agreement? If things have changed, we can help you modify your agreement.