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Military Custody & Visitation Rights in CA

Military Custody & Visitation Rights in CA

When a divorce parent is in the military, there may be special issues to consider in regards to custody and visitation. A parent might wonder if a custody order can be modified due to military duty, how to get visitation if they are away due to military duty, and what happens if a parent cannot attend a hearing due to military duty. Read on for information on specials issues regarding military custody and visitation rights in California. If a parent would like to modify a custody order because of military duty, a parent’s absence, relocation, or failure to follow a custody or visitation order due to activation to military duty or temporary duty, mobilization in support of combat or other military operation, or military deployment out of state is not sufficient by itself, to justify a modification of the order.  However, a custody order can be modified if the military assignment requires a parent who has sole or joint physical custody to move a significant distance from their home, or otherwise has a significant effect on their ability to use their custody or visitation rights. If a custody order is modified, then the modification of the order will be considered a temporary custody order which will be reconsidered upon the person’s return. In such cases the judge will assume that the temporary, modified custody order will change back to the original order that was in place before the modification, unless the judge determines that it is not in the best interest of the child. In the temporary custody order, the judge should do whatever is appropriate to make sure...
Can I Change the Locks On My House During a Divorce?

Can I Change the Locks On My House During a Divorce?

The marital home is one of the most valuable assets you have to divide during a divorce, and subsequently it can be the most difficult one to divide. There are a lot of things you can and cannot do with your home during a divorce, which vary depending on a variety of factors. When a couple decides to divorce, it does not automatically mean one spouse will pack up and move out. Each spouse has probably contributed significantly to the home’s mortgage or rent payments over the years, which means each spouse has an equal right to live in the home. Unless they come to an agreement, both spouses have the right to live in the marital home until the court orders someone to move out, which usually takes a great deal of time. You may want to change the locks on your house during a divorce. However, it is never a good idea to do this without consulting your lawyer. The rules about changing the locks vary from state to state. You can file for exclusive residency of the home, which would then allow you to legally change the locks. After a spouse has filed for divorce, both parties have the right to file pendente lite motions with the court. The pendente lite motions only apply until the divorce is final. You can file a pendente lite motion for exclusive residency of the marital home by asking a judge to order your spouse to move out while your divorce is pending. Still, you’ll have to give a compelling reason for the judge to order your spouse out of...
How can I communicate with my children when I don’t have custody?

How can I communicate with my children when I don’t have custody?

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you can do. However, that job can get even harder after a divorce. The divorce process is very stressful, and could possibly strain your relationships, including your relationship with your children. What’s more, child custody and visitation issues can impact your relationship with your child. It is inevitable that a divorce will affect the parent-child relationship in some way. The hardest part of maintaining a parent-child relationship after divorce is getting used to the new custody and visitation arrangements. After divorce, one parent who was living in the home with the child and interacting with them on a daily basis suddenly has to live in another location, and only see their children in-person for a few days every couple of weeks, or every other weekend. When they do not see a parent often, children sometimes lose the ability to freely communicate with the noncustodial parent. It is important to remember that this is not because the child loves the noncustodial parent less, and it is not because of something the parent did wrong. Feeling less connected to the noncustodial parent is a normal feeling for children of divorce, especially for younger children. It is a priority of noncustodial parents to make the transition between each parent’s homes as smooth and comfortable as possible for the child. In order to make your child feel comfortable, it is important that you do not interrogate your child about what is going on in the other parent’s home. If you try to have your child recite a play-by-play of their week, they will not feel at...
Do Marijuana Laws Affect Child Custody?

Do Marijuana Laws Affect Child Custody?

Recently, laws about medical marijuana have been changing more than ever. In California, medical marijuana is lawful and becoming increasingly common to treat certain illnesses.  Some divorced parents are wondering, does legally partaking in medical marijuana use affect child custody? The answer to this depends on the facts of each individual circumstance. Under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, “seriously ill Californians” have the right to use and cultivate medical marijuana for medical use, within certain parameters. The right to use medical marijuana is limited to protect harm or injury, similar to the right to consume alcohol. For instance, adults can legally consume alcohol and have it in their homes, but the government can still lawfully remove children from their parent’s home if a court determines that the children’s safety is threatened due to alcohol exposure or reckless conduct. As a general rule, smoking of any kind should not occur near minors. Exposure to second-hand smoke is dangerous, and it could warrant removal of the child from your household. In In re Alexis E. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 438, a father had the legal right to use medical marijuana in his home and near his children. However, the appellate court ruled that, since he had smoked marijuana near his children before he had the legal right to do so, the situation should be treated the same as a situation involving illicit drug use. What’s more, the father argued that he had the legal right under California state law to use medical marijuana, even with his children present. However, the court rebuked because of the circumstances. In court, one of the...