As a parent, your biggest concern in any family law matter is how it will affect your child. You want to protect them, but you also want to protect your relationship with them. You will be happy to know that in many cases, parents are able to do both. With a little work and some help from a knowledgeable family law lawyer, both parents can often find common ground, as long as they are willing to work together and keep their child’s best interest at the center of the discussion.
At Goforth Family Law & Mediation, I believe that the best custody order is the one that loving parents create themselves. I am attorney Paula J. Goforth. I have over 20 years of experience helping parents through divorce and paternity actions, and I am certified by the California State Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in the area of family law. From my office in Carlsbad, I assist parents throughout the San Diego area in creating custody agreements that put their children first.
I advocate negotiating your own custody and parenting time agreement, and I will help you get there. When you and your co-parent work together to find a custody solution, you reduce the amount of conflict in your family law issue. Conflict in divorce can have a negative effect on children that lasts even after they are adults. It can affect their ability to form lasting relationships. For this reason, it’s important to keep conflict to a minimum.
In addition, studies show that when parents create their own custody agreement, they are more likely to stick to it over the long run. That is because you know your family best, and you know what will or will not work for all of you. Children do best when they have a strong relationship with both parents. This is most likely to happen when both parents are involved in the process.
San Diego Superior Court has its own mediation process you need to go through before you can have a child custody hearing before a judge. In some courts, this is known as custody recommending counseling. I will be there to help you prepare for this mediation.
Rather than viewing this as a hurdle you must overcome, I suggest viewing it as an opportunity to resolve your custody issues. Custody cases often settle after mediation, which means less overall conflict in your divorce or paternity action.
When you go before a judge with an agreement in hand, they will likely accept the agreement, as long as it complies with California law. For example, you may need to account for child support payments.
If a couple cannot come to an agreement, the judge may order a custody evaluation before deciding a contested issue. The court will have continuing jurisdiction over your custody and support case even after you receive your child custody and support orders in case your circumstances change and you must modify your order.