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Chandra E. Miller

A Northern California Family Law Firm

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Children & Parents

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Deciding whether to start a custody case in California

| Apr 9, 2015 | Child Custody

People sometimes wonder if they should initiate a child custody case or instead leave the courts out of it. Some people may be worried that if they file a case, the child’s other parent will become angry. They may also worry that the other parent may receive more custody and visitation rights than the ones they already have.

For some parents, an informal parenting agreement works, and court action is thus unnecessary. In other cases, however, parents may need to file a case in order to get a custody and visitation order from a judge.

Such an order may allow a parent to make important decisions regarding their child’s medical needs, religion and education. Parents should also be aware that, while child custody and child support are intertwined, getting a custody order does not automatically result in getting child support. People must file separate motions for child support matters, but both actions may be filed concurrently.

A child custody order may be helpful in alleviating disputes between parents. It may also help officially establish both parents’ rights regarding decision-making on their child’s behalf. In addition, if a person receives a child custody and visitation order, they may choose to go back to court to request modifications if the terms are no longer viable or applicable. People who might need to handle child custody matter in court may want to seek advice from a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to evaluate the parent’s situation, advising them on how they should proceed. An attorney may also be able to negotiate a parenting agreement that protects their client’s interests.