Child custody cases are complex, and there are many legal issues involving the rights of parents and children. Understanding it all is tough, but your child custody lawyer can guide and represent you throughout the entire process. 

Here is a list of child custody questions to help you better understand the terms within your parenting agreement.

What Rights will a Possessory Conservator Have?

A possessory conservator has the right to access a child through visitation. You also have the right to receive information on your child’s health, including medical information, access to educational records, as well as attend school activities, and be listed as an emergency contact.

What Rights Will a Managing Conservator Have?

A managing conservator has the rights and responsibilities to make decisions about a child. These include choosing the main residence and making educational and legal decisions. A child custody lawyer can help you maintain these rights to your child. 

What is in a Court’s Final Child Custody Decision?

A court’s custody decision is made for the benefit and best interest of the child. Guardianship and parental roles are established as well as spousal and child support. This will also include rulings on health, education, religion, and extracurricular activities. Your child custody lawyer will walk you through the ramifications of this agreement. 

Who Determines How Much Visitation is Fair and Reasonable? 

While the court will make a final decision on visitation, it takes into consideration several factors including:

  • Parent’s physical and mental health
  • Parent’s wishes
  • Healthy and stable environment
  • Child’s wishes

Can Only One Parent Receive Custody? 

It is important for both parents to have joint custody so they have equal access to their child. One parent can be given sole custody if it is determined that the other parent is unfit. Reasons a parent would be considered unfit include financial or mental instability, alcohol or drug abuse, domestic abuse, and child safety.

What if One Parent Makes Unilateral Decisions for a Child Without Consulting the Other Parent? 

If a court judgment awards joint custody of your child, decisions must be made together that are in the best interest of the child. If one parent has sole legal custody, they can make decisions for the child without the consent of the other parent. The other parent can be in contempt of court for making unilateral decisions without your knowledge or consent and may face civil or criminal penalties.

What is Parental Alienation? 

Parental alienation occurs when one parent uses manipulation to cause your child to reject you because of fear, hatred, or disrespect. It is the undermining of a parent-child relationship that can turn a child against their parent. A child custody lawyer can help navigate this difficult situation.

Child custody issues can be complicated, so it’s best to consult a child custody lawyer for advice and representation. At Westover Law, we have experienced family law attorneys in California, serving families with honesty, integrity, and loyalty. Contact us today for all your divorce and child custody issues.