Joint Physical Custody or Sole Physical Custody – What is the Norm?

First of all, what is the difference between joint physical custody and sole physical custody. Charles E. Sherman, author of “How to Do Your Own Divorce in California” explains it simply like this:

“Joint custody” means both joint physical and joint legal custody.
“Joint physical custody” that each parent shall have significant periods of physical custody to be arranged to assure the child of frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
“Joint legal custody” means that both parents shall share the right to responsibility of making decisions relating to the child’s health, education, and welfare. (Non-custodial parent does not have […]

Don’t Let The Family Law Courts Harm Our Children

On May 18 The National Review published an article called “Children Need Both Parents After Divorce”. It expresses the need for State lawmakers to pass child-custody reform laws and says that only two states are effectively encouraging family judges to order equal, or almost equal, parenting time in a divorce. It goes on to assert the negative impact on the physical and emotional health and well-being of the children who don’t have both parents actively involved in their lives and the negative impact on their parent’s mental health as well.
This article just further proves the point that we’ve been making, […]

Factors Considered in Determining “Best Interest of Child” in Custody Proceedings

Many believe that physical custody will normally default to the mother or that once a child reaches a certain age, their choice will prevail over most other reasons.
Among other factors it finds relevant, California Family Code §3011 considers all of the following: the health, safety and welfare of the child, any history of abuse by a person seeking custody against certain persons, the nature and extent of contact with both parents, and the habitual illegal use of controlled substances or alcohol.
The meaning of the first factor “health, safety and welfare” is broad. Reams of paper are filed each day at […]

Grandparents Have Rights, Right?

The current rate of divorce, the escalating rate of domestic violence, alcoholism and substance abuse in our society has done much to diminish the traditional family. Not only does the timeshare with the minor children become a major point of contention between the parents, but it can be for grandparents as well. Without proactive measures, they can easily become alienated from their grandchildren after other circumstances also, such as the death of a parent. But grandparents have rights too, right?
Yes and No. In 2001 a California Court of Appeals ruled the California statute providing grandparent visitation unconstitutional. But sometimes grandparents […]

One More Reason To Keep Family Law Disputes Out of the Courtroom

When I started helping consumers prepare their legal documents for divorce in 1996, between 50-55% of family law litigants were self-represented. There were no family law assistance centers or facilitators at the court to help people get through the process on their own. Legal Document Assistants, formerly known as Independent Paralegals were mostly part of a cottage industry plagued by unscrupulous fly-by-nights. And Robert  Shapiro hadn’t yet created Legal Zoom.
Fast forward to 2011 where legal document assistants, have been legitimized for over 10 years. The new laws have helped to rid the legal marketplace of many, but not all non-attorney […]