Domestic abuse is often a sad reality for many in San Francisco. While women are typically viewed as being the targets of such abuse, men and children can also be subject to it. Many might wonder why those suffering from abuse take so long to leave their abusers, yet when children are involved, parents are often concerned that the kids will suffer further harm if their abusive spouses are granted access to them. That concern may even grow into legitimate fear that abuse might escalate into violence against the kids or the parents who try to leave with them.
Sadly, it may not be all that uncommon to see negative feelings become a huge factor in child custody cases in San Francisco. Parents may allow tensions with each other to overwhelm they desire to act in the best interest of their kids. When this happens, seemingly simple things like phone calls, text messages and even brief encounters can devolve in ugly fights. It is for this very reason that parents who share discord for each other be smart in the management of their kids' custody. This may include avoiding situations where they are alone together by making sure any forced interactions (such as custody exchanges) occur in a public place.
When parents file for divorce, children are often forced to go through the process as well. It can be extremely difficult for children to experience the separation of their family and learn to live in different households. Child custody and parenting plans are developed to lessen the impact of divorce on children and to ensure kids are able to spend time with both parents, even after the family has separated. While some children are placed in the sole-custody of one parent, others are put in joint-custody of both parents. There is evidence that children who are placed in joint-custody arrangements may reap the benefits of having access to both parents on a regular basis.
If you are the parent of a minor child in California and you and your spouse have chosen to separate or get divorced, you'll need to figure out how to work with your former partner to raise your child. The fact that you are not married to your kid's other parent does not negate the reality that both adults likely want the best for your child. Now it is up to you to find a way to put that wish into action.
Child custody matters can often become contentious, which can add undue stress to the already stressful situation that you and your children are experiencing. This is why (when possible), we encourage those who come to see us here at the Ruben Law Firm to attempt to work through such issues amicably with their ex-spouse's. No matter the negative feelings you may feel towards your ex-spouse, the reality is that when you have children together, your association will continue. Ensuring that it is at least respectful will help in dealing with emergency custodial situations when they arise.
When it comes to custody decisions in a divorce, California judges base their decision on the child’s best interests. To determine where those interests lie, a judge must ask parents several questions that may make you uncomfortable at first. However, as your attorney can tell you, being open and honest is always best. Your attorney should prepare you for these questions, which require you to go into detail about your financial situation, as well as your ongoing relationship with the other parent.
San Francisco couples that choose to divorce might think that their associations with each other have ended. That may not be the case, however, if two people have children together. The reality is that they may need to continue to work together to ensure that the best interests of their kids is protected. Part of that is having equal access to both parents. Ensuring that such access continues might potentially influence decisions that divorced parents want to make in their own individual lives, as whatever they do must be viewed with the perspective of how that might influence their ex-spouse's relationship with their kids.
While it may be easy to view your divorce as the end of your association with your ex-spouse, the truth is that the two of you will likely have to continue a relationship with each other throughout the rest of your lives (particularly if you have children together). Part of this is sitting down and coming up with a parenting plan that allows you both equitable custody and visitation time. Many of the clients that we here at the Ruben Law Firm work with in San Francisco find that agreeing on an acceptable visitation schedule during summer break can be especially difficult.
If you have ever heard of the term "Disneyland dad," you are not alone. This is a disparaging moniker that is given to parents of either gender to imply that the parent's only involvement with the children is to provide fun, entertainment and gifts. While building memories with the children is usually a good thing for California parents, at the Ruben Law Firm, we understand that it can be insulting and hurtful for good parents to be called Disneyland parents.