Focusing On Family Law – And You
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it is especially difficult for a child. In California, the courts take great care to keep the child’s best interests as a top priority. Parents will also want to make sure to address the child’s needs.
However, the parents often disagree. Custody and parenting time can be complicated and once the custody arrangement is finalized, there are several options for parenting time about which the parents should be aware.
The situation and the child’s needs are key
In many cases, the parents need to decide whether they will have a predetermined schedule or opt for a more reasonable approach. With a scheduled arrangement, the parents and the child will know exactly when the custodial and noncustodial parent will spend time with the child.
For example, the custodial parent may have the child during the week and the noncustodial parent may have the child on the weekends. It could be decided beforehand which parent will have the child on special occasions like birthdays and holidays and if there will be extended time during the summer and school breaks.
Others have a solid enough relationship that they can move forward without a set schedule. A reasonable schedule is open-ended. The parents can talk about their own schedules with work and other commitments. They can discuss what is better for the child and be flexible. While many people assume that this is a wise step to take, it can lead to unexpected conflict. Those who may be unsure might be better off having a schedule.
Under some circumstances, there are safety issues. Supervised visitation could be required if the parent has had substance abuse problems, been abusive in the past or had been in trouble with the law. The supervision can be conducted by the custodial parent, a professional institution or another person. If the child is in imminent danger, visitation may not be allowed at all.
Having legal guidance can be crucial with any family law issue
Regardless of the details of the case, it is imperative to understand what can be done to address every situation. This is fundamental when children are involved. Deciding on parenting time arrangements can be emotionally challenging and those who are ending a marriage and have children should have assistance from the outset by consulting with professionals who are experienced in all aspects of family law.