One of the most emotional and highly contested issues of family law and divorce is child custody. Many times the parents cannot agree as to who is going to have custody of the children and what is going to be the visitation plan.
Types of Child Custody
There are two types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child’s health, education and welfare. Physical custody is the actual time the parent has with the child. A parent that has the child more than 50% of the time is considered the primary custodial parent and the other parent is considered the non-custodial parent. In determining which parent(s) will have legal or physical custody and a visitation plan, the courts look at what is in the “best interests” of the child.
Child Custody Disputes
When a child custody or visitation dispute arises in California, the parties must attend Family Court Services and attempt to reach an agreement. Although each county is different, in San Diego if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Family Court Services mediator makes a written recommendation to the court which can be followed by the judge or can be modified. The Law Office of Steven L. Fritsch has the knowledge and experience dealing with custody and visitation issues and will prepare you for this important mediation and if an agreement is not reached, will aggressively represent you in court and work to resolve the custody issues with the opposing party and his or her attorney.
Sometimes a parent wants to move to a new county, state or country with the minor children. This is commonly called a “move-away”. “Move away” cases are generally contentious because the parent who is remaining in the county where the original custody visitation order was made does not agree that the child may move with the other parent. There are specific rules and laws that apply specifically to “move away” cases. If you are the non-custodial parent you also have certain rights that you may exercise before the court makes its decision. Steven L. Fritsch, Esq. has litigated and resolved many “move-away” cases. If you are planning to move with your children or want to oppose a move-away please call the Law Office of Steven L. Fritsch to discuss your individual case.