Are you a parent who's getting divorced? If so, one of your foremost concerns will be your children. What's going to happen to them? Will we agree on a fair child custody arrangement, or will we end up fighting over custody?
Every couple is different, and every marriage is different. If you're one of the lucky ones, you and your spouse will be able to determine the fate of your children. The best solution is for you and your spouse to talk it over in depth and reach an agreement about who will take care of the kids.
If you can both agree on a parenting plan, your attorney can attach it to the dissolution papers. Such parenting plans can become a court order, and typically the judge approves the custody plan agreed upon by both parents.
What if we can't agree?
If you fall into the category of couples who cannot agree on child custody, then it will be out of your hands and up to the judge to decide. Though several steps must be completed before the custody order can be finalized, custody and visitation can be decided on a temporary basis if you and your spouse are having problems at this point in time.
Let's say a new school year is quickly approaching and you two still haven't decided where the children will live. Or, one of you wants to move to another county for a new job and take the children along. Keep in mind that you may not be able to stop such a move unless you are the parent that spends a lot of time with the kids.
Before a hearing takes place, you'll both be required to meet with a qualified custody counselor who's been hired by the court. He or she will try and help you both agree to a parenting plan. In some counties, the counselor submits a recommendation, even if the parents do not reach an agreement. Ultimately, it's the judge's decision.
Need more information? Contact a Los Angeles child custody attorney from Claery & Hammond, LLP!