Any parent in California who has gone through a divorce know that it can be very difficult on the children. Children often find it difficult to adjust to their parents no longer living together under the same roof. In the best interests of the child, California courts generally give child custody to one parent and orders for the other to have visitation and provide child support.
Many California residents who are contemplating divorce may be worried that they will have to go into a court and argue over who is at fault for the end of the marriage. Some may actually be looking forward to that experience. But in most cases, it's better to minimize the amount of time the parties have to be in the courtroom.
When a divorce leads to a battle, children typically turn out to be the losers. As parents engage in a war of words during the course of a divorce, children can be emotionally and psychologically wounded. And this is true throughout the country, including in California. In keeping the best interest of the child in mind, it is best to come up with a child custody arrangement with both spouses behaving decently and not emotionally, similar to business associates.
Very often couples in the United States, including those in California, do not want to go through the elaborate process of divorce litigation. Many have found divorce mediation a cheaper alternative to courtroom divorce. An amicable divorce not only reduces the costs associated with divorce but also helps minimize the emotional stress associated with courtroom divorce.
Child custody in California is not just limited to parents of a child or an unrelated caregiver in their absence. Federal law also allows the court to consider giving custody to relative over an unrelated caregiver when it determines placement of the child. The court, however, may only place a child with a relative if that person meets the standards set by law. For instance, the relative is required to be an adult and must meet the child protection standards prescribed by law.
A custody dispute over a child in California can be resolved with the help of the Family Dispute Resolution Program. The FDR at the Center for Families, Children & the Courts assists, trains, supports and consults with court programs and also serves families in order to reach a quicker resolution to a custody dispute. This process of family dispute resolution through mediation is free of cost and alleviates the pain and trauma related to such disputes. The goal of the process is to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of the child.
Under certain circumstances, California laws allow for a change in child custody order. One or both parents may seek to change a child custody order, due to a variety of reasons such as an increase in the age of the child, or his or her changing needs, activities and interests.
Almost half of all marriages in the country end in divorce, and California is among the states with the highest divorce rates. The end of a marriage signals many changes to come and the very nature of a divorce may cause emotional turbulence and stress to the parties involved.
In many divorce cases, children can suffer the worst from their parents' estrangement. Many times, child custody and child support can become a very bitter and drawn out battle. Custodial issues are exacerbated in cases where the children are born out of wedlock. In most states, including California, the father may not get automatic paternity rights or custody.
Due to the bitter feelings between estranged spouses or intimate partners, divorce is often acrimonious. Divorces can also have grave financial repercussions. Issues such as the assessment of spousal support, child support and child custody can become major points of conflict during a divorce proceeding. In such cases, out-of-court settlements for divorce related issues can prove beneficial.