When a marriage begins to unravel, it is often difficult for both parties to agree on custody and visitation as a part of the divorce proceeding. This is a topic that is highly controversial and emotional. Both parents likely feel as though they are the best option for their child or are dealing with the emotional pain of how their child may be affected by the divorce. This is a normal reaction from any great parent going through a divorce and shows tangible concern for their child’s future.
Hayes Family Law is here to help you through this difficult time. We understand the challenges our clients face and treat them with respect and kindness at every step of the way. Because we focus exclusively on family law, you can trust our expertise. We offer creative solutions for complex situations and strive to resolve cases as amicably as possible because familial bonds can be important even after a divorce, especially when child custody is involved. However, we have the skill, experience, and tenacity to take your case to trial if necessary.
Our Napa attorneys are experienced in family law and can provide you with the best possible chance to receive custody or visitation of your child. We understand this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we work hard to ensure your legal rights and wishes for the future of your family are protected. There is no better feeling than the peace of mind knowing that your attorney is working hard on your behalf to reach the best possible outcome. Contact us today if you are in the Napa area and need assistance with your custody or visitation case.
There are many ways in which child custody and visitation can be arranged. The most important thing to remember is that the arrangement must be in the child’s best interest. This means it must provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs. It is also important to remember that the arrangement must be practical and feasible for both parents.
The following are some of the most common ways in which child custody and visitation can be arranged:
- Joint custody and visitation. This is the most common arrangement in which both parents share custody and visitation rights. This arrangement can be either physical or legal, or both.
- Sole custody and visitation. In this arrangement, one parent has sole custody of the child, and the other parent has visitation rights. This arrangement is usually only made if one parent has a history of abuse or neglect.
- Split custody and visitation. This arrangement is made when there are two or more children from the marriage, and each parent receives custody of one or more of the children.
Many factors will be considered when determining child custody and visitation.
The following are some of the most common factors:
- The verbalized wishes of any child if they are of sufficient age and maturity
- The child’s need for stability and continuity in their life
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable home environment for the child
- The emotional and physical health of each parent
- The ability of each parent to cooperate and communicate with the other parent
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s adjustment to home life, school experiences, and the overall community
- Any traumatic history of abuse or neglect from either parent
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s physical and emotional needs
The court will always prioritize the child’s best interests when deciding on custody and visitation. If you are facing a custody or visitation proceeding, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand the law and what to expect to maximize the health and safety of your child.
Custody and visitation agreements can be modified in the future if there is a material change in circumstances. A material change in circumstances is any significant change that would affect the child’s best interests.
Some examples of a material change in circumstances include:
- The child has developed a close relationship with a stepparent or other adult
- One of the parents has been convicted of a crime
- One of the parents has developed a substance abuse problem
- One of the parents has been deployed by the military
- The child’s needs have changed, such as needing special education services
If you seek to modify a custody or visitation agreement, it is important to speak with an attorney to understand the law and what you will need to prove to succeed.
To get child custody and visitation, you will need to file a petition with the court. The court will then hold a hearing to determine the child’s best interests. To be successful, you will need to show that you are a fit parent and that the arrangement you are requesting is in the best interests of the child. You also need to show that the other parent is unfit. If you’re looking to split custody, you need to prove the other parent is also equally capable of caring for the child.
If the other parent is not following the custody or visitation agreement, you can file a petition with the court to advance an enforcement of the agreement. The court will then hold a hearing to determine if the other parent is in contempt of the agreement. If the court finds that the other parent is in contempt, they can order them to pay a fine, make up for lost time with the child, or even go to jail, depending on the severity of the issue. It is important to speak with an attorney if you are having trouble enforcing a custody or visitation agreement.
Few things are as emotionally challenging as decisions involving your children. We understand this and aim to protect the familial bonds as much as possible. Because we are dedicated exclusively to family law, we have creative options for many complex situations. Our boutique firm focuses on excellence and client satisfaction.
If you need legal assistance with child custody and visitation, get in touch with Hayes Family Law. We are experienced in handling all aspects of child custody and visitation proceedings. We have already helped many families in the Napa area develop a structured, workable plan that meets the needs of their children. Contact us today to discuss your case details and learn more about how we can help you protect your child’s best interests. We are eager to put our experience to work for you and look forward to helping you resolve your custody and visitation issues.