What Does the “Best Interests of the Child” Mean?

What Does the “Best Interests of the Child” Mean?

Child Custody
The law protects the interests of children in many ways, and one way is by setting standards for child custody arrangements. The standard in California is that the custody arrangement must be in the best interests of the child. This standard applies when: Parents agree to custody arrangements, and the court reviews the proposal to ensure it is in the best interests of the child.Parents cannot agree, so the court must issue a custody order for the parents.One or both parents wants to modify child custody. What does the court look for when ensuring custody is in the child’s best interests? Many factors can be weighed, depending on the circumstances. Some factors include: The child’s needs, including special needsEach parent's ability to meet the needs of the childWhere each parent…
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Child Custody Over Summer Vacation

Child Custody Over Summer Vacation

Child Custody
If you have a school-aged child and share custody with your ex, their summer vacation from school can be a complicated time. If both parents work and your child is young, you might need to make arrangements for childcare while you are at work. In addition, one parent might want to take your child on a vacation, and there can be complications with this when it comes to custody. Making changes to your usual custody arrangement during the summer is common, but both parents must be on board. If you have a conflict over summer-related custody, your first step is to review your parenting plan from when your initial custody order was issued. Your parenting plan should have details regarding: How physical custody will change during the summer from your…
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What is Legal Custody of a Child?

What is Legal Custody of a Child?

Child Custody
Child custody in California is divided into two categories: legal and physical custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will live, but what does legal custody mean? Put simply, legal custody is a parent’s right to make important decisions about their child’s well-being. This does not refer to everyday decisions like what to have for lunch. Instead, it involves decisions regarding: Healthcare (except regarding emergency needs)Education and where a child goes to schoolReligion and religious activitiesCovid-19 vaccines In most cases, California courts want parents to share legal custody. Joint legal custody gives both parents the authority to make such decisions, however, it requires the parents to make these decisions together. Joint legal custody does not necessarily mean that parents share physical custody. Even if a child lives with one…
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Can Your Child Choose Where They Live?

Can Your Child Choose Where They Live?

Child Custody
When you are facing a custody determination, your child might have opinions about where they want to live. Will the court listen to your child? How much does their opinion matter? The answer is that it depends on the situation. First, the court will always listen to the opinion of a 14-year-old child or older and take it into consideration. A younger child might be heard if the court believes they are of sufficient age and maturity to form and voice their opinion. However, just because a child chooses one parent’s home over the other does NOT mean the court will automatically go along with it. Custody decisions involve many factors, all of which focus on the best interests of the child. In general, California law sets out that joint…
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Child Custody Modifications

Child Custody Modifications

Child Custody
Yes, you can modify a California child custody agreement if circumstances dictate it. Even if both parents agree to the adjustment, a judge still needs to sign off on it to make it official. As the years pass, original custody agreements don’t always fit anymore, and a modification might be necessary. When Can You Modify a Child Custody Agreement in California? If there has been a substantial change in circumstances for a child or a parent, you can petition the court to modify the custody arrangement. Remember that the court’s top priority is always what’s going to be in the best interest of the child, not your convenience or lifestyle. In the State of California, to modify a child custody order, you must present supporting evidence to prove that a…
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Can You Move With Your Child?

Can You Move With Your Child?

Child Custody
In a nutshell, yes, a custodial parent might be able to move with a child. There are some important requirements and limitations, however, as well as many things to consider. For example, the situation becomes more complicated if you are moving far away or if the other parent opposes the move. Communicating with Your Ex If you and your ex were able to agree on custody without going to trial (which many couples are), then a good place to start might be discussing your situation with them. If you need to move closer to a sick family member or get a great new job, it doesn’t hurt to see what the other parent thinks first. Good communication is going to make things smoother, if it is possible. The Custodial Parent…
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When Do You Need to Determine a Custody Arrangement?

When Do You Need to Determine a Custody Arrangement?

Child Custody
There are many different scenarios in which two parents will need to determine how to divide child custody. While custody is often associated with divorce cases, it also arises in other situations. Divorce or Legal Separation When two parents are married and they decide to end the marriage, they will need to sort out custody issues before the court will grant the final divorce. Often, judges will issue temporary custody orders during the divorce case if the parents are not living together. Even if parents are not yet ending their marriage under the law, they might be seeking a legal separation. This type of case also requires the parents to divide their custody rights. Paternity Cases and Unmarried Parents Some child custody cases happen outside of a divorce or legal…
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Custody Battles Over COVID-19 Vaccines

Custody Battles Over COVID-19 Vaccines

Child Custody
When two parents share legal custody of their child, they share the responsibility of making important decisions for the child. Such decisions might involve education, religion, healthcare, and other major life issues. One issue that has become the focus of numerous custody battles in the past year is whether or not a child over the age of five should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer has an emergency use order for its vaccine for children ages five-15, and the vaccine is fully approved for those 16 and up. If one parent wants to vaccinate their child and the other doesn’t, it can lead to serious disputes. If one parent gets a child vaccinated against the other parent’s will, they can face harsh penalties for breaching a custody agreement. A custody agreement…
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Do the Courts Favor Mothers or Fathers in Custody Decisions?

Do the Courts Favor Mothers or Fathers in Custody Decisions?

Child Custody
There was a time - decades ago - when courts assumed that it was best for a child to live with their mother if the parents separated or divorced. Fortunately, the law in California no longer favors the mother or the father when it comes to custody, but rather they look to what is in the best interests of the child. No matter which parent you are, one of the Long Beach child custody lawyers from Furubotten Law can provide you with further information and advocate for your interests in your divorce or custody case. Child Custody Decisions are Based on the Best Interests of the Child Whatever the court determines is in the best mental, physical, emotional, social, and educational interests of the child will determine the outcome of…
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Can You Modify Your Custody Agreement?

Can You Modify Your Custody Agreement?

Child Custody
The process of going through a divorce can be stressful and tolling on your life, given the demands of the process and emotions involved. When you have completed a divorce and custody has been determined, you might be wondering if there is any way you can modify your custody agreement to better suit your changing life. A Huntington Beach custody attorney from Furubotten Law can evaluate your options and help walk you through the necessary steps to pursue a modification of your custody order whenever possible. Ways to Obtain a Modification In the State of California, when a custody order has been established, either parent can seek to change the order under certain circumstances. The California Courts advise the updating of a parenting agreement each two and a half to…
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