Divorce is an emotional and complex process. And when children are involved, issues like child custody and visitation can add more issues to be addressed. Attorney William N. Watkins has years of experience and can help you navigate these matters.
Los Angeles Child Custody Lawyer: William N. Watkins
California laws have evolved a lot over the past decade. Mothers are no longer automatically given custody instead of the father. In addition, the courts cannot deny your right to custody or visitation because of a sexual preference, physical disability or because you were never married to the other parent. For the most part, parents can make their own decisions for custody and visitation. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the judge will send the couple to mediation.
Mediation is an effective alternative to litigation. It’s less costly, quicker and non-adversarial. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator to help couples address and solve differences. If no agreement cannot be achieved through mediation, the parties can go to court to seek guidance from a judge. Keep in mind that judges keep the best interest of the children in mind when determining issues surrounding child custody and visitation.
Southbay Visitation Attorney: William N. Watkins
Legal custody deals with the parents’ right to make the decisions relating to the child’s health, education and welfare. One or both parents can have legal custody. If both parents are making decisions about the child it is called joint legal custody.
Physical custody deals with the days and times that the child will spend with each parent. If the child primarily lives with one parent it is called physical custody. If you are requesting that both parents spend a substantial period of time with the child, it is called Joint Physical Custody.
Visitation is the time that the child spends with the parent who does not have primary physical custody. There are several options to choose from when it comes to visitation, generally they are: (1) Reasonable Visitation (2) Specific Visitation Schedule (3) Supervised Visitation. Reasonable visitation does not define the days and times that each parent will have physical custody of the child. A reasonable visitation court order usually works when both parents are in agreement about the time share that each is to have with the child. A specific visitation schedule defines the days and times that each parent will have physical custody of the child. A specific visitation schedule may be necessary for parents who have a difficult time agreeing on the days and times that each parent will spend with the child. Supervised Visitation requires that a responsible adult be present during any visitation times with the child. A supervised visitation order may be necessary if there are reasonable concerns that a parent may harm the child if left alone.
When facing child custody and visitation issues, turn to legal help from attorney William N. Watkins. Let his experience work for you.