FAQ on Child Custody
Counsel from Our Pasadena Family Law Attorney
When you get a divorce, you may fear that your relationship with your child will be forever damaged, but we believe that it doesn't have to be this way. At The Graves Law Firm, we want to give our clients an informed approach to child custody so they are prepared when the time comes and can continue fostering their relationship no matter what happens.
Get in touch with our Glendale child custody lawyer today for a personal advocate.
What is the difference between physical and legal custody?
Physical custody is the arrangement that determines where the child will live and how often they spend time with each parent. Legal custody gives one or both parents the ability to make major decisions for the child, such as healthcare and religious affiliation.
Can my child have a say in the final custody arrangements?
It depends on their age. The court usually considers the input of children who are 12 years of age or older. While they still won't have the final say-so, their desires will have an impact on how custody is split up.
Is it okay if I move out of state with my child?
Generally, no. Anytime a divorce is filed in court, orders go into effect that forbid either parent from moving out of state with the children without an order from the court. Once your custody orders are finalized, you may have to show that a move is in the best interests of the child before gaining the court's approval.
What should our parenting plan include?
A parenting plan essentially lays out the details of custody and visitation. The more detailed your plan, the better. Include schedules for weekdays and weekends, school vacations, birthdays, and holidays. You can even address the issue of transportation and any anticipated changes to the schedule.
My ex-spouse is breaking our custody order. Now what?
This is a very serious issue, because a child custody order is a legal order straight from the court. If your ex-spouse is not following the terms of your order, you have several options: call the police and ask for assistance, request support from your attorney, or file an action for "contempt" with the court. This last option is the most severe and can inflict consequences on the parent in question.
Does the court have to help us create a child custody order?
No! Courts actually encourage parents to work together to create an arrangement that both are happy with and reflects the best interests of the child. Only when you can't agree does the court step in to make the final decisions.