Law Offices of
Travis H. Whitfield, Inc.
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When a case first starts, it is important that the children are taken care of and supported by both parents. If you have children and you have been served with divorce papers, you will need an attorney who has experience with Child Custody and Visitation issues. California judges want to make sure that the children have as much access to both biological parents as possible. This is done by trying to keep things as normal and routine for the children when the case first starts.
This is done by trying to keep things as normal and routine for the children when the case first starts. They do this by preserving what is know as the "status quo". Put simply. this means that whatever custody and visitation arrangement exists on the date the divorce process begins, this is the arrangement that should stay in place so that the children are not disrupted.
It is important that you contact our office as soon as you are considering a divorce case, or if you have just been served with papers and have children. Keep in mind that your decision to move out of the family residence, or letting your spouse move out of the residence with the children may later affect your ability to have a fair Custody and Visitation arrangement because your spouse may use this "new" arrangement as the "status quo". The best way to know what your options are is to contact us immediately.
California law requires that all parents go through a process called Orientation and Mediation. You may be ordered to contact Family Court Services as soon as you have been served with papers. This is very important, especially in cases with domestic violence or restraining orders because the court may order you to attend an Emergency Screening. If you have been served with papers requiring you to do this, you should contact our office immediately #408-879-9039.
When our attorney's first meet with clients who have children and are going through the divorce process, they always tell them to contact Family Court Services as early as possible. Orientation classes in Santa Clara County are routinely held at 170 Park Center Plaza, San Jose, California and it is usually a good idea to contact them early for an appointment #408-530-5600.
Once both parents have gone through Orientation, you will be assigned a Mediation date. Both parents must attend Mediation without their attorneys. If the parents can come to an agreement, a Family Court Services representative will assist you in developing a custody and visitation order. However, you do not have to agree to anything you do not feel comfortable with. If you feel that your spouse is intimidating or forcing yo to enter an agreement that you do not feel comfortable with - do not! It is much harder to undo an order that you do not like at a later time, than to dimly disagree.
If one or both parents do not agree on a custody and visitation schedule, Mediation fails. Once this happens, you will need to consult with your attorney about further court hearings. These hearings will be held with the judge and you will need to have an experienced attorney with you that can explain our options.
Custody and visitation orders are especially important at the beginning of a case because your timeshare with your children can affect other issues in your case like Child Support. Child Support is usually set by the court using a program called Dissomaster. Child Support is calculated by the Dissomaser primarily based on your income and your timeshare with your children. Temporary orders involving Custody, Visitation and Child Support are crucial at the beginning of a case because these "temporary orders" can be used as a basis for future, permanent orders by the court. Make sure that you have an experienced attorney with you during the wary stages of your case, preferably before you ever go to court so that they can run the Dissomster program for you and explain your options. You can go to our Support page for useful tools: Support Page.
We are here to answer your questions. Set up your free consultations with one of our attorneys today #408.879.9039