Child Custody And Visitation

What Do The Child Custody Labels Really Mean?

legal custody attorneyChild custody can refer to legal custody or physical custody. Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions on behalf of the child, including medical, educational and religious decisions. Physical custody refers to where the child will physically reside.

Child custody can be joint custody or sole custody. Joint custody refers to shared custody between the mother and father. Sole custody refers to one parent having total custody over the child, either legal custody, physical custody or both.

Most of the time, child custody disputes center around physical custody. Typically, there will be a primary custodial parent, with whom the child will reside the majority of the time. For the other parent, the time spent with the child is commonly referred to as visitation, shared custody or parenting time.

If you have a serious dispute regarding child custody, the court can appoint a minor's counsel to represent the interest of the child. If child custody is highly disputed, the parties can request, or the court can order, a child custody evaluation.

Ms. Trindade is a family law specialist (certified by the State Bar of California), with significant experience handling cases where legal and physical custody are disputed.

How Are Custody and Visitation Determined?

legal custody attorneyIn California, in any family law case where child custody or visitation is in dispute, the parties must participate in mediation. The Court provides a qualified mediator to mediate these issues.

It is the mediator's role to use his or her best efforts to encourage an agreement on these issues in accordance with what the mediator feels is in the best interest of the child or children. In Shasta County, and in most California counties, attorneys are not allowed to be present during the mediation process, so it is very important to speak with an attorney. In Shasta County and many other Northern California counties, if the parties do not reach an agreement during mediation, the mediator may be allowed to make a recommendation to the Court and either party may ask that the recommendation be made an order of the Court. Either party may also dispute the recommendation and request a hearing. No agreement or recommendation is legally effective between the parties unless it has been made an order of the Court.  

Child Custody Modifications - Relocation Issues

Where there has been a significant change in circumstances, a party can request the court to modify child custody or visitation. Some situations that may warrant a change of custody or a modification of a visitation schedule include relocation (also called a “move away”), a parent's new love interest who may have a drug or alcohol problem, or other situation that may present a danger for the child.

Our Philosophy In Handling Issues Involving Children

Your children’s well-being should be your first priority. Children are vulnerable and need to be protected, especially when the child’s parents are arguing and breaking up. The child’s entire world is collapsing, which is very threatening and frightening to a child. The parents may chose to separate and divorce each other, for various and important reasons.Friends and family members frequently “take sides” in the separation. It is very, very important not to ask the child to “take sides,” either explicitly or implicitly. Parents need to openly support the child’s relationship with the other parent and reassure the child that, even though the parents are not staying together, they both love the child and its ok for the child to love both parents. Children love their parents. Children need a healthy relationship with both parents, (even if one has a mental health issue). Long term studies show that children of divorced parents do very well - so long as their parents are able to work together as separated parents in raising the children. The more fighting and acrimony between the parents, the worse the children do on a short term and long term basis.

We strongly encourage clients with children to maintain open lines of communication with the other parent, to work cooperatively with the other parent in making sound decisions about the children, and take a constructive approach to resolving disputes about the children. We also strongly encourage clients to consider the impact of every choice on the children. This is called, in the family law justice system, being “child focused.” Divorce is very stressful, on everyone. It is critically important to the child’s well-being for both parents to be child-focused.

“We use the term “ex-wife” or “ex-husband,”
... but you never hear “ex-mom” or “ex-dad!”
(Tamera C. Trindade)

Disclaimer: The Information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Tamera C. Trindade, CFLS*

*Certified Family Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

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Tamera C. Trindade, CFLS*, Attorney & Counselor at Law
1640 Tehama St., Suite A, Redding, CA 96001

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Contact Information

Tamera Trindade, CFLS* 
Attorney and Counselor at Law

1640 Tehama St. Suite A
Redding, CA 96001

Phone: 530-691-0511

Business Hours:
Monday - Thursday:
8 a. m. - 12:00 p. m. & 1 p.m. - 5 p. m.
Friday: 8 a. m. - 12:00 p. m.

We are closed all court holidays in 2016 including: 
• Memorial Day - May 30th 
• Independence Day - July 4th 
• Labor Day - September 5th 
• Columbus Day - October 10th 
• Veteran’s Day - November 11th 
• Thanksgiving Day - November 24th 
• Day After Thanksgiving - November 25th
• Day After Christmas - December 26th

Additional Hours by Appointment