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CA family lawyerWhen parents choose to end their marriage and get divorced, they and their family members must restructure their lives. There is often an adjustment period as children become accustomed to living in two separate homes, but ideally, parents can help them overcome their difficulties by working together to provide for children’s best interests. However, after families have settled into their new living arrangements, parents’ circumstances may change. If a parent decides to move to a new home, they should be sure to understand how this will affect their child custody agreement.

Relocating with a Child

When a parent who has primary physical custody of a child or shares physical custody with the child’s other parent wishes to move to a new home, they must provide notice to the other parent, and they must file a motion in court seeking to have their child custody order modified. If the other parent objects to the move, an evidentiary hearing will be held to determine whether the move is in the child’s best interests.

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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 lawyerToday’s world is more connected than ever, and the internet provides us with the ability to communicate with others no matter where we go or what we do. For many, social media is an essential part of their everyday existence, giving them the opportunity to share their lives with friends, family, and even total strangers.

People who are going through a divorce may be tempted to post details about their situation on social media, whether they are asking others for advice, informing friends and family members about changes to their lives, or simply venting their emotions. However, it is important to understand that there may be legal consequences to doing so. Here are some ways social media can have an impact on a divorce case:

  • Negativity and over-sharing - Complaining about your ex, discussing the reasons your marriage has failed or laying blame for your divorce are all natural impulses, but angry social media posts can be taken out of context and used against you. In some cases, they could even be considered harassment, and they could affect the decisions made in divorce court.
  • Financial information - Even if you do not discuss your income, the information you share could affect financial matters related to your divorce. Posting photos of an expensive item you have purchased or discussing a lavish vacation could impact the decisions regarding the division of property. Mentioning income earned from a side job could affect the child support or spousal support you pay or receive.
  • Child custody - While you may feel that what you do on your own time should have no bearing on your relationship with your children, a judge may feel otherwise. Pictures of parties, nights out on the town, alcohol consumption, or other activities that could be seen as morally questionable could be used to call your judgment and parenting ability into question during child custody disputes.
  • Privacy and permanence - Anything you post online could eventually become a factor in your divorce proceedings. Even if you think a message is private, it could make its way to your ex (and their attorney). A post that has been deleted may still be accessible for people who know where to look. Never post or share anything that you would not want to have to defend in court.

Ultimately, it may be best to avoid using social media altogether during your divorce, but at a minimum, you should avoid discussing the divorce or sharing details about your life that may come into play during divorce proceedings.

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California divorce lawyerThe end of a long-term relationship is often a difficult time for everyone involved, and during a divorce or break-up, couples will likely experience a great deal of emotional turbulence as they establish new living situations, separate their finances, and determine how to move forward with their lives. These situations often involve a high level of conflict, and disagreements can become even more contentious when children are involved.

The decisions made about child custody will affect parents’ and children’s lives for years to come, so divorcing parents should be sure they fully understand their rights and keep their children’s best interests in mind. Here are some tips to follow when working to reach a resolution in child custody disputes:

  1. Do not involve children in conflict - It is important to protect children from arguments between parents, allowing them to maintain good relationships with both their parents going forward. Never try to alienate your children against their other parent or use them to send messages to your ex.

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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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