Do you have children under the age of 18? Whether or not you're married to your child's other parent, we know that relationships can be strained.
If you've reached a point where you're battling over the right to see your own children, or if you feel that a court order would make you more comfortable, it's time for you to familiarize yourself with custody orders.
There are times when it's best for parents to get a custody order. Even though you should have every right to see your children, that doesn't mean the other parent won't stop you.
Perhaps you have custody of your children and the other parent poses a danger. He or she may be abusive, they may have a drug or alcohol problem, or they may not take good care of the children while they are in their care – all valid reasons for concern.
Whatever your situation, here's some basic information on getting a custody order.
Going to Court for a Custody Order
If you wish to set up a custody or visitation order for your children, either you or the other parent will have to ask the court for an order. How you go about doing this depends on whether you already have a family court case, or if you're starting a court case.
If you are married and you need to start a case, you can ask for custody or visitation orders in the following cases:
- Legal separation
- Domestic violence restraining order
If you don't want an annulment, legal separation, or divorce, you can start by filing a Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children. This petition allows the court to make custody and visitation orders in your case.
If you're not married to the child's other parent, you can ask for custody and visitation orders in paternity cases and domestic violence cases. However, if you signed a Declaration of Paternity, you'll file a Petition for Custody and Support for Minor Children.
Once you file any of the above cases, you can ask the court for custody and visitation orders. If you already have an open case, then an attorney from our firm can help you request a hearing to address any custody and visitation issues.
Contact our firm to speak to a Los Angeles child custody attorney.