Child Custody And Support
Many couples at Go Divorce Clinic are confused about just exactly what legal custody is and how it is different from physical custody. Most relax quite a bit when they discover that legal custody is rarely ever an issue for divorcing couples that are cooperating with their divorce.
Legal Custody involves the rights and responsibilities that are inherent when one becomes a parent of children in the United States. The fundamental care and decisions regarding the health, education, culturing and support of minor children are all a part of legal custody responsibilities. Courts are loath to terminate or mitigate legal custody of any parent unless that parent is proven somehow to be an imminent threat to the health safety and well being of the child or children when those children are under that particular parent’s custody and care. No client in my office has ever had their legal custody become a topic of discussion or consideration, and it is probably unlikely that a divorcing couple that is cooperating enough to process their divorce will need to face legal custody review. If legal custody were ever an actual issue, it would be best served under the guidance of a family law attorney and not at Go Divorce Clinic. Parents can at times have different parenting styles, and even varying values around how to raise children. This alone however is not the same as questioning a parent’s legal rights as a parent, unless those styles or values demonstrate to a concerned parent a clear and present danger to the well being of the children under the other parent’s custody.
Physical Custody simply put is where, when, and with whom the children live. When I was a kid (circa 1970) a lot of children of divorce – me included – simply went full time to live with the Mother, and the Father had reasonable rights of visitation and paid child support. Times have changed. Though each couple can choose what ever works best for them, the current mental health professional environment emphasizes an equal allotment of time between the Mother and Father, and so the majority of Go Divorce Clinic clients do a 50%-50% physical custody split. The 50-50 split theoretically seems like the right thing to do to get the children to spend as much time with each parent as possible. Real life however at times humbles theory. At Go Divorce clinic we emphasize child advocacy. While there is no one "magic" formula for every family with children facing divorce, we take great care to carefully go over each couples individual needs and circumstances so they can arrive at the best choices for their children.
Lawyers and Child Custody
The last thing a child needs are parents that are long term bitter rivals from an ugly divorce, festering with resentment for years over how a family court judge decided for them an unsatisfying custody arrangement, and how much money was wasted arguing over it for too long with attorneys. It is truly tragic and unnecessary to argue over what is in the best interest of children when two parents really love them. At Go Divorce Clinic we understand that nobody else is better suited to be deciding what is in the best interest of children when reasonable parents who both cherish their children can sit down and discuss it. Divorcing couples may be hurt, scared, overwhelmed and confused, but with skillful guidance they can be brought to a place of enough calm and clarity so as to recognize with solidarity what is best for their children. This can be accomplished without formal mediation by a skillful GDC facilitator. At Go Divorce Clinic we emphasize child advocacy, and we practice that intention with care and commitment that supports the parents, so they can support their children by finding agreement together about what is best for them. It’s also the joy of every family court judge when parents can cooperate to find agreement regarding children of divorce, so they never have to appear in court before them!
No matter what parents may agree to with regard to child support, in Sonoma County all divorces involving children must submit a Dissomaster child support calculation to the Court which provides for the court an objective guideline which they will utilize as a reference regarding consideration of any child support order. We know that parents want to do the right thing by their children, and when a mother and father are not pitted against one another in the traditional attorney based adversarial posturing, they will seldom have issues regarding the support of their children. We provide a neutral and safely facilitated, dignified alternative to lawyer based divorce where couples are empowered to create their own answers to the support and well being of their children.
To schedule a meeting contact GDC at 707-431-2363 or Email.
"In a situation where emotions are volatile, Robert provides a safe environment to explore navigating the end of a relationship in a new manner. In a gentle, tactful and competent manner he guides his clients through the bureaucratic and emotional maze towards the best possible outcome for all parties involved. He saves his clients money and grief and is a particularly passionate advocate where children's needs are concerned."
GDC and its agents are not attorneys. No information provided on this website is intended as legal advice or counsel for a divorce or any matter, and should not be construed as such. Accordingly, the information on this site is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, financial, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal, financial or other competent advisers. In no event will Go Divorce Clinic, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereof be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information presented in this site, or for any consequential, special or similar damages.