Issues in California Child Custody and Visitation Cases
There are a number of issues that may crop up in child custody and visitation cases not only in California but also other places. Awareness of such issues or how to deal with them will make it a lot easier for any parent to tackle these problems that are bound to come up when a child custody case is being heard by the family law court.
The various issues that can come up range from the child’s preferences to counseling, criminal convictions to the threat of abducting or actually abducting the child, interfering with child parent relation and so on.
Under section 3042 of the California Family Code, the preferences of the child regarding decisions about custody are given much consideration. But the Family Court takes into consideration the maturity of the child, any influencing from the parents, and possible alienation of one parent by the other parent before acting on the child’s preferences.
The court evokes section 3190 of the California Family Code to ask for mandatory counseling of the child involved in a child custody case. It is up to the family law judge to ask both or either of the parents to accompany the child to the counseling sessions. The court may have statutory reasons to get the parents counseled as well, either together or separately. Any disputes between the parents have to be resolved for the best interests of the child. Counseling can last to up to a year.
Criminal convictions of either parent in crimes related to child abuse will have a significant influence in the outcome of a child custody and visitation case. The guilty parent will most certainly not get the custody, either sole or supervised, of the child in question unless it can be proven that the child will not come to any harm.
Any other criminal offence other than child abuse such as substance abuse or use of violence, will elicit the same response from the family court. The criminal history of the offender does not matter as much as the details of the present case. The matter of sole custody is out of the question but joint legal and physical custody may be granted.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation.