At A People’s Choice, we can help you complete and file the forms you need with your local court to obtain or modify your custody order. We will also help schedule the court hearing and mediation. Keep in mind; most courts favor a joint custody solution between parents. If a parent objects to a joint custody arrangement, they must be able to show why this type of solution is not in his/her child’s best interest. Read on to learn more about joint custody solutions in California.
Joint Custody Solutions Considerations
1. A Joint Custody Solution Should Be in Best Interest of Child
As mentioned above, the court will develop a joint custody solution that is in the best interest of the child. We highly recommend parents attend mediation to establish a joint custody solution outside of court. Most judges will look at whether there has been a history of child abuse, domestic violence, the child’s schedules. Courts will also look at the parent’s work hours, and the child’s current living environment when deciding the best custody solution. While both parents are usually granted joint legal custody, if there is evidence of domestic violence, the judge may award one parent with legal custody.
Most joint custody solutions include 60/40 time-share arrangements. The more time the non-custodian parent spends with his/her child, the less money in child support he/she usually has to pay.
2. A Joint Custody Solution Requires Parties to Review Time Schedules & Work Commitments
Be honest with yourself in reviewing schedules and work commitments. Some parents feel guilty about their divorce and try to overcompensate with signing their children up for countless activities. Work with the other parent to develop a flexible schedule for your child that allows the non-custodian parent reasonable visitation time.
3. A Joint Custody Solution Should Allow for Adjustments
Be as flexible as possible when adjusting your custody arrangements. Courts will modify a child custody order if there has been a significant change in circumstances. Parents are required to attend mandatory mediation when making any child custody modification request. We recommend working with a private mediator in comparison to the court’s mediator.
50/50 Joint Custody Solutions
There are many different schedule variations a couple can consider when setting up a 50/50 joint custody arrangement. As with most joint physical custody schedules, the children should have bedrooms and living space in each parent’s home. It is also helpful if they can have their clothes, toys, and other personal items they need at each place. This eliminates the children having to cart their favorite things back and forth between their parent’s separate houses.
A 50/50 schedule is a great joint custody solution when:
- The parents live close to each other. This makes exchanges easy.
- The child does not become unsettled switching between his/her parents’ homes
- The parents have excellent communication between themselves
- The parents are committed to putting the interest of their child first and foremost.
- The parents agree that a 50/50 schedule is in the best interest of their child.
Here are some of the more common joint custody solutions:
Alternating Weeks Schedule
This schedule allows the child to spend time with each parent every week – one week with one parent and the following week with the other.
Two-Weeks Each Schedule
This schedule is similar to the alternating one week schedule; however, the periods with each parent are for two weeks rather than one.
This is a typical schedule used by couples who want each parent to be equally involved with the minor every week. One week the child spends your child spends four days with one parent, then three days with the other parent. The next week the child spends three days with the first parent and then four days with the other parent. The parents keep rotating this schedule throughout the year.
This is a variation of the above schedule. One week the minor child spends two days with one parent, 2 days with the other parent and then 5 days with each. This schedule repeats every two weeks.
2 Days Alternating Schedule
This schedule allows the parent to have the minor ever two days. This schedule has shown to be problematic and disruptive for some children.
Contact A People’s Choice to learn more about the process of obtaining a child custody and visitation order. We can prepare and file the documents you need to set up a new custody order. We can also help you modify an existing custody order to get a joint custody solution that is in the best interest of your child.
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