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California family lawyerDuring their parents’ divorce, children often experience a great deal of emotional turmoil, and the stress of living in a high-conflict home, uncertainty about the future, and difficulty adjusting to new living arrangements can lead to short-term and long-term physical and mental health issues. Even though parents may disagree about who will have legal and physical custody of their children, they should be able to work together to put their children’s best interests first. When doing so, they should consider recent research which shows that children often fare best in shared custody situations in which they spend near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

Research on Shared Parenting

Until recently, it was often considered best for children to primarily live with one parent after divorce, and experts believed that the stability of a single home was preferable to adjusting to living in two homes. However, a number of recent studies have countered these assumptions and found that children often benefit from sharing time with both parents. Findings of these studies include:

  • Regardless of the level of contentiousness between parents during their divorce, children in shared custody situations (in which they live with each parent at least 35% of the time) experienced less stress than those who live primarily with one parent.
  • When children live in shared parenting situations, they tend to have better relationships with their parents, step-parents, and grandparents.
  • Children in shared custody families show better academic achievement and emotional health.
  • Children in shared parenting situations experience fewer behavioral problems, such as juvenile delinquency, misbehavior in school, bullying, or use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
  • While many believe that infants and toddlers should primarily reside with their mothers, studies found that their bonds with both parents do not suffer when mothers and fathers share overnight parenting time.
  • The level of parental conflict tends to be a separate issue from parenting time. Children experience benefits from shared parenting, even in high-conflict situations, including when one parent objects to a shared parenting situation.
  • The benefits of shared parenting are not related to parents’ income level.

Ultimately, shared parenting allows children to have a close, ongoing relationship with both parents, and the benefits of these bonds outweigh the problems caused by conflict between parents. While parents should strive to keep their children from being caught in the middle of their disagreements, they should also understand the importance of being a primary figure in their kids’ lives.


Contact a Los Gatos, CA Child Custody Lawyer

In modern divorces, child custody arrangements often reflect the nature of how today’s parents care for their children, with both parents participating closely in guiding their children’s development. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can help you create a child custody agreement which will protect your children’s best interests and help them thrive following your divorce. Contact a Los Gatos family law attorney at 408-395-8822 to schedule a free consultation.

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California family lawyerChildren deserve to have their health and safety protected, whether they are at home, at school, or under the supervision of a daycare provider, coach, or doctor. In order to safeguard children from the threat of abuse, the state of California has put legal measures in place to ensure that potential cases of child abuse or neglect are reported and investigated. When a person is being investigated for suspected child abuse, they should understand the processes that will be followed, their rights in the investigation, and the potential outcomes.

Reports of Suspected Abuse or Neglect

According to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), a person who reasonably suspects that a child has been the victim of abuse or neglect can make a report to a law enforcement agency. Certain “mandated reporters,” such as teachers, doctors, therapists, members of the clergy, or day care center employees, are required by law to make these reports.

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California family lawyerUnder California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), certain people are required to make a report to law enforcement when they reasonably suspect that a child may be the victim of abuse or neglect. These reports will trigger an investigation, and if a social worker believes that there is evidence that the alleged abuse was likely to have occurred, they will forward the substantiated report to the California Department of Justice (DOJ), and the alleged abuser will be placed on the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).

Being listed in the CACI can have a major impact on a person’s life, affecting their ability to find employment, serve as a volunteer, adopt a child, or act as a foster parent. Fortunately, California law provides people with the ability to dispute their inclusion in the CACI.

CACI Grievance Hearings

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California divorce lawyerWith Thanksgiving recently passing and the December holidays just around the corner, child custody and visitation issues may arise, especially if you, your ex-spouse or partner, and children will be celebrating separately for the first time. When these issues surface, it is imperative to clearly establish parenting time (sometimes termed “visitation”) through a formal plan.

When parents and children understand and can anticipate how and when parenting time is to occur, the stress and conflict associated with change and new arrangements will diminish rather than escalate. In meeting your child custody and parenting time needs, work together with an experienced Cupertino family law attorney.

A Parenting Plan Is a Custody and Visitation Agreement Between Parents

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California family lawyerRaising a child on your own is hard work. It is one thing if you chose to be a single mother, or if the father of the child has passed away, or if there is been an amicable split resulting in sole custody. If, however, you need and deserve the support of the father of the child but are not receiving it, that is very different. It is, you will be relieved to learn, possible to obtain a child support order in a California court, compelling the child’s father to pay child support on a regular basis.

When this process becomes saddled with an unwanted layer of complexity, however, is when there is a dispute as to who is the father of the child. Obviously, only the biological father of the child may be compelled by a state court to furnish child support payments. Prerequisite to a child support order, in some cases as you have now likely deduced, is establishing paternity. Help with paternity matters of all kinds is available from a dedicated Los Gatos family law attorney.

A DNA Test May Be Used to Establish Paternity

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