There are many factors that go into a divorce. While every couple is different, there are some key things that will always be considered during the divorce process. One of the most important aspects of any divorce is child custody and visitation. Here are 10 truths about custody and visitation for California dads:
1. You Have Rights
The first thing you need to know is that you have rights as a father when it comes to child custody and visitation. Even if you are not married to the mother of your child, you still have legal rights concerning your child. It is important to understand these rights and to protect them in order to ensure that you are able to see your child as often as you want.
2. You May Not Receive Joint Custody
Just because you have legal rights to your child does not mean that you will be awarded joint custody. In some cases, the court may find that it is in the best interest of the child to award primary custody to one parent or the other. If you are hoping for joint custody, you will need to be prepared to present a strong case to the court as to why this arrangement would be in the best interests of your child.
3. The Court Will Consider What is Best for the Child
When making any decisions about custody and visitation, the court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child. This means that the court will take into account things like the child’s age, the relationship between the child and each parent, each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, and any other factors that may impact the child’s well-being.
4. You May Need to Prove Your Parenting Skills
If you are hoping to be awarded primary custody of your child, you may need to prove to the court that you have the parenting skills necessary to care for a child full-time. This may include providing evidence of your financial stability, your work schedule, your involvement in your child’s life up to this point, and your ability to provide for the child’s needs.
5. You May Need to Prove That the Other Parent is Unfit
In some cases, you may need to prove that the other parent is unfit in order to be awarded custody of your child. This could include providing evidence of child abuse or neglect, drug or alcohol abuse, or any other behavior that would put the child at risk.
6. Visitation Rights are Important, Too
While custody rights are important, visitation rights are also crucial. If you are not awarded primary custody of your child, you will still want to make sure that you have a solid visitation schedule in place so that you can spend time with your child on a regular basis.
7. The Court Will Consider Your Relationship with the Child
One of the things that the court will consider when making decisions about visitation is your relationship with the child. If you have been an active and involved parent up to this point, it is more likely that the court will award you generous visitation rights. On the other hand, if you have not been as involved in your child’s life, the court may limit your visitation or put conditions on it such as requiring you to attend parenting classes or therapy.
8. You May Have to Pay Child Support
If you are awarded primary custody of your child, the other parent will likely be required to pay child support. However, even if you are not awarded primary custody, you may still be required to pay child support if you have a high income or if the other parent is unable to support the child on their own.
9. You Need to Comply with Court Orders
It is important to understand that any decisions made by the court regarding custody and visitation are legally binding. This means that you are required to comply with all court orders concerning custody and visitation. If you do not comply with a court order, you could be held in contempt of court, which could result in fines or even jail time.
10. You May Need to Hire an Attorney
The custody and visitation process can be complex, and it is often helpful to have an experienced attorney by your side. An attorney can help you understand the law, represent you in court, and advocate for your rights. If you are involved in a custody or visitation case, it is important to seek out legal assistance as soon as possible. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the better your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Reach out to our fathers’ rights law office today to get the support you need by calling (951) 223-1058.