6 Tips for Co-Parent Communication

When there are challenges around communication while co-parenting after divorce or separation, a parenting plan, either court ordered or by parental agreement, can structure the ways in which co-parents will communicate about their child. Including communication terms in a parenting plan can help to deescalate conflict, decrease misunderstandings, ensure that both parents have access to vital information, and insulate children from exposure to adult conflict. Continue reading

New Year, New Laws for Family Law Attorneys

The California legislature has enacted several new laws that may affect your family law practice. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

Can a Sperm Donor Be Required to Pay Child Support?

Whether a sperm donor is on the hook for child support may depend on what the donor does after the baby is born. Continue reading

How to Change a Child’s Last Name

When a parent leaves a child’s life, that parent can leave a surname behind. This can happen after the parents break up or divorce, or when a parent abandons a child. After the departure, the custodial parent may want to change the child’s surname. Continue reading

Visitation Rights for Grandparents

In California, grandparents may petition for visitation with their grandchildren in certain situations. Here’s an overview of when grandparents may seek visitation and the presumptions their petitions will face. Continue reading

4 Considerations for Child Custody Evaluations

question_133773471When the parties can’t come to an agreement, a child custody evaluation by a mental health professional can help judges by giving an assessment of the family, each parent’s capacity to parent, and the children’s needs and capabilities. Whether the motion for the evaluation is made by the judge or one of the parents, here are some important considerations for you and your client to discuss. Continue reading

Preparing for Child Custody Problems

ThinkstockPhotos-518751523Although you can’t predict what will happen in custody cases, you should draft standard language in custody agreements and court orders that will address common problems that arise in joint legal and physical custody situations. Doing so will help align parental expectations and minimize conflict for children.

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Sharing Custody When Parents Don’t Share Religion

ThinkstockPhotos-164550089A court-ordered parenting plan governs how parents will share the “care, custody and management of their child,” a fundamental liberty interest recognized by the United States Supreme Court. This liberty interest encompasses parents’ interests in religious freedom and their right to teach and share their religious beliefs and practices with their children. What happens when each parent wants their child to share very different religious and cultural traditions?  Continue reading

10 Tips for Drafting a Parenting Plan

ParentalRights_3502001When parents don’t agree on a child custody issue, the parenting plan is the tiebreaker. Given this power, family law attorneys need to draft parenting plans with the utmost care to make sure that uncertainty and ambiguity don’t undermine the best intentions. Continue reading

Thinking Ahead: Pre-Birth Custody and Visitation

91584560When parents aren’t living together as a child’s birth approaches, the family may benefit from having pre-birth orders spelling out what will happen at the hospital and beyond. Continue reading