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Custody issues for unwed parents

In California, when a child is born to two individuals who are not married, custody issues may require some specific attention. Many circumstances involving unwed parents who do not remain together as a couple result in the birth mother receiving custody of the child, but there do remain some variables to address.

Child custody matters are best handled away from your child

Child custody matters are sensitive issues that can have a big impact on the children involved. We recently discussed why it is important to keep the focus on your children and not the divorce when the kids have something special going on. This is actually good advice every single day of the year.

Don't make your child's special day about your divorce

When parents divorce, there is always the temptation to fight with each other over parenting time and the rights and privileges each parent has toward the children. While it is usually heartbreaking from the outside looking in, many parents seem to believe that visitation schedules or lifestyle practices actually are the hills on which they want to make their last stand. Unfortunately, when parents choose to create conflict over parenting, it is the children who suffer the most.

What factors determine a child's best interests?

When it comes to creating a fair, child-centered parenting plan for the custody of your child, it is easy to get distracted by your desires as a parent and lose sight of what is truly best for your child. This is a normal experience that many parents face when trying to arrive at a fair custody arrangement. When you begin to feel your focus slipping, it can be helpful to consider the various factors a court looks at to determine a child's best interests.

What do I do if I fear the other parent may kidnap my child?

Sharing custody with a child's is always difficult, but for some parents, it feels downright dangerous, because they fear that their former spouse may kidnap the child. If you feel this way, you are not alone — thousands of parents live with this fear every day. Although most parents who fear parental kidnapping never see that come to fruition, it is always wise to take precautions just in case. The more prepared you are for this possibility, the more you do to prevent it or respond quickly if the child's other parent ever does resort to kidnapping.

Child custody tip: Make your summer travel plans now

Going on vacation during the summer is something that many families look forward to. When the parents are divorced, this can be a trying experience because of the child custody order. The best thing that parents can do when a child custody order is in the picture is to start planning now for the trips you want to take.

Some issues with divorce involving children with special needs

Divorce is a very complex endeavor and it is made even more so by children with special needs. You need to ensure that you take particular care to resolve four key issues when it comes to your divorce. Children with special needs require extra care during a custody dispute. They require additional medical care, education oversight and transition plans to ensure that both parents continue to act the child’s best interest.

Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson in conflict over child custody

Once a judge renders his or her decision regarding the terms of a parenting agreement, both parents are legally obligated to do as the agreement instructs. However, as time passes, one or both parents may come to the conclusion that the terms as they stand are not in the child's best interests. When such is the case, it is possible to have the agreement modified. But unless both parents are amenable to the modification, it is quite likely the matter will create a contentious set of circumstances.

Be sure to use good practices when handling child custody issues

California law stipulates that your child's best interests have to be the focal point of all decisions related to child custody. When you and your ex are working through the child custody mediation process, you have to think carefully about this point and others that the court considers important.