Usually, when a person in the San Francisco area settles his or her case, they should consider the agreement they come to final. Whether they are agreeing to pay money or do or not do something, they will generally be held to whatever bargain they come to, and their deal will only be set aside in the rarest of cases, usually if they somehow were duped in to signing it.
Previous posts on this blog have talked about situations in which a judge in Tiburon or other parts of the Bay Area decides to bring in a third party, like a mediator, child custody evaluator or parenting coordinator, to help resolve a parenting time or custody dispute.
In California, a court may elect to appoint a guardian ad litem, or GAL, who in a child custody case. Properly speaking, a GAL is called a "child custody evaluator" in this state. Although some residents of Tiburon and the greater Bay Area may have some idea of what a GAL does, many might not be familiar with the term or the role they play in child custody disputes.
Like other states, California has a set formula that courts in the San Francisco area and throughout the state are supposed to use in order to set consistent child support orders across the state. While these child support guidelines might seem relatively straightforward, they can also be the cause of considerable controversy, particularly when it comes to determining what each parent's income is.
When parents in California and elsewhere decide to end their marriage, it is clear to them that their relationship with their child and the dynamic of that relationship will be impacted. While child custody is an important factor to establish during dissolution, it is also imperative that parents take the time to ensure the financial wellbeing of a child. Because of that, some divorcing parents request child support payments.
Divorcing with children is anything but easy. This is not only a major life-changing event for the parents, but it is likely to alter the entire life dynamics of the children as well. Because a child is used to living in a single home with both parents, the transition to living in two home could take much time to get used to. In addition to establishing where and when a child will be with each parent, divorcing parents need to also address any financial concern regarding their child or children. This means developing a child support agreement.
When parents in California divorce, they likely face many difficult decisions. And while they are required to work through the difficult divorce issues, divorcing parents may find it challenging to reach a child custody agreement that works for everyone involved. In a high-conflict divorce, parents likely want to take steps to protect their children from this hostile environment. However, this can have unfortunate results.
Divorce is never easy. This even applies for California couples who agree that getting a divorce is the best choice. Even when spouses are on board and are amicably working through the process, this does not mean that the children involved in the process are happily going along with it. In fact, the process impacts children whether it is a peaceful or contentious life event. The fact of the matter is that dissolving a marriage is a major step that will alter the lives of everyone involved. And for children of divorce, this means their life is different moving forward.
Even before a baby is born, parents-to-be may discuss their intended parenting methods. After their birth, parents will continually improve and address their parenting techniques as their child grows and needs change. And as most suspect, certain life events could greatly disturb how parents in California and elsewhere will parent their children. Divorce is one of those times where parents will have to reach an agreement, either on their own or by the court, on how they will parent their children moving forward.
When contemplating a divorce, many Californians worry most about which spouse will be awarded physical custody of their children and what arrangements will the court order for visitation by the non-custodial parent. While the final decision on these issues will be made by the judge, the parents can play an important role in resolving issues of child custody and visitation.