McCoy Fatula, APCMcCoy
Fatula
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Parents ordered to enter mediation to resolve differences

Many California couples who divorce can relate to various challenges that often arise regarding future care and upbringing of children. From who will have physical and legal custody to how much child support will be paid, parents often rely on the court to make final decisions when they are unable to achieve amicable agreements. A former couple in another state was order to engage in mediation if they were unable to agree on parenting matters.

For this particular set of parents, it appeared their post-divorce parenting plan was running smoothly until the mother decided she wanted to relocate. She reportedly announced her intentions to take her son, who has autism, with her and to enroll him in a new school. The father was not in agreement with her decision, in part because his son had established a very good rapport in his current school and community at the time.

The court awarded custody to the father, citing the fact that stability is very important in children's lives. A series of appeals and remands ensued in the complicated litigation. Of paramount importance was the fact that the initial shared custody order required both parents to enter mediation should they be unable to agree on a particular parenting issue.

Acting alongside a skilled family law attorney for guidance is often a good idea in all matters related to divorce, including  mediation over child custody issues. As a personal advocate, a California attorney can provide skilled negotiation and act on behalf of a concerned parent to obtain an agreeable outcome. Such issues are often highly emotionally charged on both sides, and allowing an attorney to speak in one's place may help prevent contentious outbursts in court.

Source: vtdigger.org, "SCOV Law Blog: Amending a child custody decision", Elizabeth Kruska, Dec. 30, 2016

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