This post concludes and recaps our series on the handling of Orange County, California parents who have never been married. We felt it necessary to write on this topic as many parents are often under a misunderstanding as to the rights and obligations of each side when disagreements begin to arise. The goal of our last several posts has been to provide information which will help such parents to better understand their situation. Having this better understanding can help one to make a more informed choice when selecting a child custody attorney.
We have addressed several topics over our recent articles. Issues which we have looked at included:
- The rights of unmarried California fathers
- Establishing a child custody order (assuming paternity is already established)
- Conducting discovery in a child custody case
- Attending trial in a child custody case
- How parents should conduct themselves after trial
These are important topics for multiple reasons. First, many mistakenly believe that a mother has “all the rights” in a case. The fact of the matter is that, if paternity has already been established, then a father’s rights will be considered equal to those of a mother. If paternity has not been established then a father will have no right to see his child, and no obligation to pay child support, until the Court declares parentage. Second, it is crucial to establish a child custody order so that there is a framework in place for the parties to abide by. Third, discovery is necessary to gather evidence showing that you are a suitable parent and to establish any issues which may make the other parent unfit. Fourth, knowing what to expect at trial in such a case can help to make the process go more smoothly. Finally, if a party does not properly conduct themselves after the case is completed then they are likely to find themselves back in Court.
Once point we have stressed throughout each of these posts is that parents going through a dispute should contact an attorney immediately and should not engage in “self help.” Counsel can attempt to work out a resolution with the other side. Should an agreement not be reached then a case can be filed with the Court and a temporary custody arrangement can quickly be put in place. This will give your life a sense of stability so that you can focus on the most important thing – raising your family. We understand that nothing is more important than one’s children. Our firm gives such cases the attention they deserve. Contact us today to speak with an Orange County child custody lawyer.
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