When parents cannot agree on the parenting schedule and other aspects of child custody, the family law court will make these decisions based on the best interests of the minor child or children. The parents will be required to participate in court-ordered mediation, which will be followed by one or more hearings before a family law judge. Determining what is best for minor children is a complicated process involving considerations of parenting skills, personal histories and lifestyles, schooling decisions and work schedules.
When a parent decides to move to a different county, region or state, he or she will need an agreement to change the custody and visitation arrangements or a court order for this purpose. If the relocating parent already has sole physical custody, it is presumed to be in the child’s best interests to move with that parent. If the parties have joint physical custody, then the court will need to consider what custodial arrangement will be in the child’s best interests. Parental move-aways present difficult legal issues, as the court must consider all of the circumstances of the child’s relationships, schooling and childhood development needs.
The successful handling of child custody and child support issues requires a wide range of legal skills and negotiating talents. Each county in California has its own set of rules for deciding child custody disputes, and each parent will also need to decide whether to request a professional custody review by a private evaluator. At Next Legal, our attorneys are experts in child custody and child support issues, including the complex sets of rules applicable to each county in the Bay Area and the best means of navigating the complicated procedures and substantive rules for deciding what is in the minor children’s best interests.
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