One of the most contested areas in family court litigation is that of child custody. The long-standing policy of the state is that both parents should have frequent and regular contact with their children. However, there are exceptions based on the specific facts and circumstances of each case, including but not limited to if there are allegations of substance abuse, criminal conduct, sexual abuse and restraining orders. In every case, the family court prefers that the parties reach an agreement to address the best interests of the child or children. Having said that, due to the contentious nature of paternity or dissolution actions, an agreement cannot always be reached.
If an agreement cannot be reached, a party will have to file a request for order to obtain a hearing date where custody orders will be set. In all cases, all parties will be required to attend mediation at Family Court Services before being heard before the court. After mediation, Family Court Services will prepare recommendations to the parties and the court. Again, if there is an agreement, the report can be adopted as an order. If there is no agreement, there can be a number of hearings, ranging from short to long on the matter. Custody of children is something that parties should always take seriously due to the emotional and potential financial issues that can arise from such hearings.
Issues Surrounding Custody Orders
When examining custody orders, parties must look at whether their order is an interim (temporary) order, a permanent order, a modification of an order or a post-judgment (after divorce) modification of an order. Each type of order has a different legal standard that must be met to be modified. In each order, the parties will always be looking at who has legal custody of the child or children, and who has physical custody, and for how long. It is always important to protect the best interests of the minors in the case. Being in a custody battle can be strenuous on the children as well as the parents. Sunnen Law will support you and guide you through your case, providing you with the advice you need to move forward.
At Sunnen Law, we handle all aspects of child custody cases, including:
- Establishing child custody orders
- Modifications of pre- or post-judgment child custody orders
- Requests for order regarding relocation
- Litigation before the family court at trial or prior to trial.
Get Legal Advice About Child Custody Today!
Every child custody case is unique. Let an experienced family law attorney advocate for your rights and the best interests of your children. Your children are the most important and vulnerable members of your family. It is important you protect them and act in their best interests. At the end of the day, a party needs to know that their children's rights will be protected, and what the custody and visitation schedule will be. The goal of our firm is to make sure that you are dealt with fairly, regardless of which side of the child custody equation you are on. Call us at 619-255-9551 to request an in-person consultation as soon as possible.