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Understanding the Child Custody Process


Parents who decide to get divorced face a challenging legal road ahead of them. When their children are under the age of 18, they must take into consideration a variety of factors, including with whom the children should live and how much child support that the other parent should pay.

When you find yourself confronted with such legal dilemmas, you do not have to solve them by yourself. Our experienced family law attorneys at the Law of Tiffany L. Andrews are here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent.

California and Child Custody

Out of all of the matters that you want to be solved quickly in your divorce, the question of custody of your minor children takes precedence. You want your children to live with the most physically and financially stable parent. You do not want them to be separated from each other, and you also want to retain as much custody of them as possible.

In California, parents are entitled to equal custody of minor children as long as both parents pose no serious safety risk to them. However, your lawyer can go to divorce court and ask the judge to issue a decree giving you primary custody. This order would allow the children to reside with you throughout most of the week. The other parent would then receive shared or joint custody, which would allow the children to stay with him or her one day during the week and every other weekend during the month.

How to Request Child Support

Despite sharing custody of your children, you are entitled to child support from the other parent if the children live with you for the majority of the time. Your lawyer can ask the court to issue a support order that will be based on factors like how much income that you earn, how much the other parent earns and how much time that the children spend with each parent.

The order will provide for a sizable portion of the children's housing, medical needs, food, and other costs. It will remain in effect until you or the other parent challenges it or the children turn 18.

Even after your divorce is granted, it may be necessary to challenge the child support order. Finances between you and the other parent can change, for example. You may need more support to care for a sick child or child with a disability. The other parent may have lost his or her job or taken a pay cut.

Your legal team can ensure that your best interests and the financial wellness of your children are represented in court. Your attorney will argue for an order that is reasonable for the circumstances of your particular situation as a parent.

What is a Visitation Order?

California law also allows both parents to have equal access to their children even after a divorce. Your attorney can ask for a visitation order that takes into account the safety and physical well-being of your children.

The judge may order that the children visit with the other parent in his or her home every other weekend, up to six weeks during the summer and on alternating holidays. The order will remain in place until your children become of legal age where they can tell the court if or when they would like to visit the other parent.

These issues are some that many parents face in California as they file for divorce. You do not have to overcome them on your own. You can get the legal help that you need by hiring an experienced family law attorney to represent you today.

Call the Law of Tiffany L. Andrews today at (916) 794-4576 to learn more about your parental rights.

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