What Are Parental Rights And How Do They Apply In Specific Family Law Situations?

3015 words - 12 pages

I.Introduction of topic: What are parental rights and how do they apply in specific family law situations?II.Definition of termsA.Pro PerB.Sole legal custodyC.Joint legal custodyD.Primary physical custodyE.VisitationF.Child custody proceedingIII.Options available for Family Court representationA. Retain an attorney1.Advantage: Attorney understands rights and rules of the court; Speaks on behalf of the parent in court2.Disadvantage: Costly legal feesB.Pro Per1.Advantage: Minimal cost2.Disadvantage: Labor and time intensive; Parent must research California Family Law; Parent represents self in courtIV.Child custody determinationA.Sole Legal Custody1.Advantage: One parent makes all decisions concerning the child2.Disadvantage: Other parent is completely excluded; has no parental rights in regard to the child's medical, religious, or educational needsB.Joint Legal Custody1.Advantage: Both parents share legal decisions concerning the child2.Disadvantage: Parents must agree on decisionsC.Primary Physical custody1.Advantage: Child lives with one parent more than 50% of the time2.Disadvantage: Child sees the other parent less oftenD.Visitation1.Advantage: Child lives with one parent 100% of the time2.Disadvantage: Child has minimal time with the other parentE.Child Custody Evaluation1.Advantage: Comprehensive, assists in making recommendation2.Disadvantage: Costly and often one-sided; Only one parent benefitsV.Forms and FilingsA.EzLegalFile websiteB.Order to Show CauseC.Application for Order and Supporting DeclarationD.Summons for Petition of Custody and Child SupportE.Proof of Personal ServiceVI.Conclusion: If parents can work out a custody agreement amongst themselves, then child custody is simple. It is when the two parents cannot work out an agreement that child custody becomes complex.What are parental rights and how do they apply in specific family law situations? Parents ask lawyers questions such as, "Could I have a chance to get sole custody?" "What is joint custody?" and "If I take my case to court, what chance will I have that the judge will see it my way?" The answers to these questions may not be as specific as parents would like. The only sure thing is that court appearances are costly, emotionally draining, and often accompanied by long waits for court dates. In respect to family law, two major points are especially useful to remember. Try to stay out of court and know the laws.First, parents should try to stay out of court. This means that parents should negotiate issues between themselves and their attorneys. "Parents should avoid court hearings with their testimonies, experts, and the adversary process. The traditional adversary process forces people to choose sides rather than negotiate. The idea, however disguised, is to compete and win. Despite many advances in the family courts and family law, the best advice is to do as much as you can to settle the issues, especially about the children, out of court" (Johnson 50).Second, parents...

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