Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Resolving child custody and visitation disputes

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Child Custody

When you filed for a divorce in California, you understood that you and your ex would have to negotiate a settlement. As parents, you undoubtedly also knew that this settlement would include child-related issues. It would be great if proceedings could be a once-and-done event. However, the reality is that many people experience child custody or visitation disputes long after they settle a divorce.

Children are better able to cope with a divorce when there is minimal parental conflict. This does not necessarily mean that you and your ex will never disagree about custody or visitation issues. The differences of opinion or a disagreement does not have to be problematic if you know the terms of your agreement, understand state laws and are willing to find a solution in a non-confrontational manner.

Child custody and visitation issues that can spark legal problems

Two main categories of child custody are physical custody and legal custody. You would have discussed these issues during your divorce proceedings. Physical custody refers to a child’s full-time residence, while legal custody pertains to decision-making authority for one or both parents. In addition, issues regarding visitation (when a non-custodial parent has scheduled visits with the children) can spur legal problems, as well. For example, if your ex keeps showing up late to transfer custody or does not show up at all, you might need to seek the court’s intervention.

Issues may arise that are not contentious, which require legal discussions to resolve. For example, if you accept a job offer in another state, you and your ex may need to revisit negotiations regarding your custody or visitation agreement. Numerous other things, like a parent losing a job or becoming ill or incarcerated, etc., can also have an impact on an existing custody order. The most important thing to remember is that, unless and until the court modifies its orders, they remain in effect, and both parents must adhere.

What to do if a problem arises

If your ex’s behavior is causing custody problems, you may want to explore options for resolving the issue in as swift a manner as possible. Your ex cannot intentionally impede your relationship with your children, such as denying you access to each other.

When dealing with child custody or visitation disputes, it is helpful to have an experienced legal team on your side. Such a team can provide effective support and encouragement to California parents who are having trouble resolving custody-related issues. It may be possible to resolve a dispute without going to court through mediation or negotiation, but it’s also good to have a team ready to litigate, if necessary.

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