Family law expert Kathy Recordon has been practicing law in San Diego for over three decades. She handles every case personally so you know you will not only get the expert advice you need, but also the attentiveness to you deserve.
Areas of Expertise
In almost all cases, the parties will share joint legal custody of the children. Legal custody allows the parents to share in the decision-making regarding the children. Joint or shared legal custody means that the parties share equally in decisions relating to the children’s care, upbringing, educational training, religious training, social and recreational activities, medical care and treatment, and treatment of emotional needs. Each party has access to medical and school records of the children and can independently consult with any and all professionals involved with the children.
Also known as “primary” custody, this is where the children will spend the majority of his or her time.
This is a term that is preferred by the courts in reference to custody. The parties are awarded joint custody and the “sharing” plan designates what times the children spends with each parent. This does not mean that it is a 50/50 sharing plan. It can be a vast variety of plans.
Many parenting plans refer to the time the non-primary custodial parent spends with the children as “visitation”. In many cases this designation is objectionable to the non-primary parent and although a “visitation” plan is implemented it is preferable to call it “child sharing”. In a dissolution proceeding, the parties are required to attend a mediation session regarding custody and visitation issues if the parties have not agreed on a sharing plan. The court mediators (Family Court Services) meet with both parents in an attempt to help them reach a parenting plan that is IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN. The parties may meet with an independent, outside mediator, if they prefer. California law states that it is the goal of the state to insure that both parents have a frequent and continuing relationship with both parents. Of course, there are many situations where shared parenting in not in the children’s best interest.
One of the most contested issues in a dissolution proceeding is the issue of support. Child support is determined by a formula that takes into consideration the following: the incomes of both parents and the percentage of time each parent has the children in his or her custody.
California refers to alimony as spousal support. There are many, many factors that determine the amount and duration of spousal support. The length of the marriage, the age of the children, the work history of the supported spouse, the age and health of the parties, the education and training necessary to enable a party to become employed. The amount and duration of spousal support is within the discretion of the judge. There is no mandatory formula followed by the judge and all factors are considered.
How will you protect your rights and responsibilities regarding your children if you were never legally married?
Modification Of Orders:
There are several instances where modification of existing court orders is needed. This can include changes to the child sharing plan, increasing or decreasing child support orders, enforcing the court’s prior orders, move away orders and even establish amounts owed for unpaid child or spousal support.