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Are you going to be a single parent in California?

The idea that you will only spend part-time with your children in the future is one of the most difficult parts of divorce for most California parents. For this reason, some parents will try to fight for sole custody in court. In fact, they may fight so tenaciously that the issue turns into a long and expensive custody battle.

Fortunately, with the help of an experienced and diplomatic family law attorney, most California parents can come to an out-of-court child custody agreement.

Coming to child custody agreement on your own terms

The more parents now about child custody laws in California, the more likely they will be to arrive at a mutual agreement outside of court. For this reason, the family law attorneys representing both spouses will do their best to educate their clients on their legal rights and how a family law court would likely decide their case if it were to end up going to trial.

Here are the general child custody basics California parents should know:

-- In California, joint child custody is not only an option, it's a presumption. Courts will usually seek to award joint custody to both parents. This could result in a shared 50-50 child custody arrangement. However, other sharing arrangements could be more appropriate depending on the circumstances of the children and the parents.

-- Grandparents have the right to visit their grandchildren in California. As such, child custody agreements may want to address how the children will be permitted time with grandparents from both sides of the family.

-- If the children are of sufficient age and responsibility, courts will consider the child's wishes when deciding child custody matters.

-- The best interests of the children involved will be the most pressing issue on the mind of the family law judge who decides a child custody case. Next, the judge will consider the age, health status, emotional connections with family members, school ties, communities, family abuse history and family neglect history relating to the children involved.

-- The parenting plan is the most important art of any California child custody ruling. The parenting plan will offer a schedule of shared parenting that suits the best interest of the child, while being realistic for the spouses and their schedules.

Are you worried about your child custody matter?

A California family law attorney can review your family's circumstances to determine what your child custody rights will be in your divorce proceedings. Your lawyer will then advocate on your behalf to try and negotiate an out of court settlement with your spouse. If those negotiations fail, then your lawyer will represent you in court if necessary.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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