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Posted By Fair Cadora, APC

When going through a divorce with children, the child custody and visitation negotiations can be some of the most difficult parts of a divorce to agree on, which means the court usually has to get involved. Many people are confused as to what the court takes into account when awarding child custody, and they come to us with a number of questions. Here are a few of the more common ones and some generalized answers.

Do courts automatically prefer mothers?
It used to be true that courts tended to side more frequently with a child’s mother in a divorce and child custody case. However, in recent years this has since changed and both spouses are now required by law to be given equal consideration for child custody. It’s important to note that this is only true if a child’s parents are married. If they are not, a father must establish legal paternity in order to maintain his claim to visitation and custody rights.

Can my child choose which parent they want to live with?
It is not uncommon for a judge to take the testimony of a more mature child into account when making a custody decision. However, this is not the only factor; if the parent the child chooses will clearly be worse for their well-being, they may choose to go with a different parent anyway. For example, if one parent has a documented history of abuse or alcoholism, the court most likely will choose not to award them custody, even if a mature child requests it.

What are different types of custody?
There are two different types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is which parent has the responsibility for physical care of the child, while legal custody is the ability to make decisions regarding important factors, such as where children go to school, what kind of healthcare they will receive, and what kind of religion they will be taught (if any).

What if I have to move after getting a divorce?
This isn’t unheard of; sometimes people get a new job in a new place or need to move to be closer to family after a divorce. If you have full custody in both the physical and legal sense, you will likely be able to relocate without issue. However, if you are sharing custody, you will likely need to petition the court to allow your relocation with the children. If the other parent contests this, it is strongly advised you seek counsel from an attorney.

At Fair Cadora, APC, our counsel has provided guidance for those going through the divorce process. Our San Diego family attorneys know the stress and difficulties a divorce case can bring, which is why we strive to provide all of our clients with compassionate and reliable representation. Attorney Lauren Fair has been named a Board Certified Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Please call the firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

Posted By Fair Cadora, APC

Frequently lost amongst the courtroom battles, negotiations, and other legal complications of a divorce is the emotional strain that it can place on an indirect but equally-important victim: children. Going through a divorce case can be traumatic for young children who may not understand the complexities that have led to your decision to dissolve your marriage, and as a result they can become depressed.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure you put a lot of effort into helping your child cope with your divorce. Here are a few valuable tips assisting them with this transition.

Don’t Fight in Front of Your Children

Divorces can be filled with tension and heated exchanges between you and your spouse. However, you should never expose your child to these conversations. Heated exchanges between parents can cause children to feel fear and anxiety, making it even harder for them to become comfortable with their situation. You don’t need to be best friends with your ex necessarily, but remain cordial around them when your children are present.

Allow Your Children to Communicate

Children may be unable to express their confusion, anger, or other emotions they may be feeling because they either are not allowed to or feel as though they are not allowed to. It’s important to not only allow them to express themselves, but listen to them when they do. They need to know that they’re still important and loved through this process, and that includes making them feel as though their emotions and their thoughts matter (which they absolutely should). Likewise, when they do communicate, it’s important to not sugar coat the situation, but also be sure to remain cordial; don’t bad-mouth or blame your ex for anything, as this can cause your child to create resentment.

Keep Your Word

Children can often lose trust in what their parents say during a divorce, which can cause panic and fear. It’s important when helping your children through a divorce that you stick to what you tell your child. If you tell them that you will be there to pick them up at a certain time, be there on time to do so. If you promise them a trip to the mall, take them. Things can come up, but you have to constantly remind your children that they are important to you—keeping your promises is a great way to reinforce that.

When you need assistance with your divorce case, turn to the experienced San Diego family attorneys at Fair Cadora, APC. Our team has helped numerous couples through the difficult complexities of a divorce, and provided honest and reputable counsel to help them transition into their new, separate lives. Attorney Lauren Fair has been named a Board Certified Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization, demonstrating an elite level of understanding and skill in this particular are of law.

Please call the firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

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