As of November 1st, 2016, parenting plans filed after mediation with Family Court Services
(FCS) may give parents the choice to designate a final agreement for
child custody and
visitation. Through this option, parents in
paternity cases may elect to finalize an agreement to include in their judgment.
Parties will also waive their right to a trial on the issues of child
custody or visitation. Agreements created in this way can later be modified
through the written consensus of both parties or if one party requests
an order and can show that a substantial change in circumstance has occurred.
Parents who are presented with this option are often left to wonder if
it is right for their family. The (sometimes frustrating) answer is that
it depends. While bypassing the need for further legal action may be an
attractive option, it is critical to understand the full ramifications
of finalizing a mediation agreement before making a decision.
Every family will have a different situation and there may be no one right
answer; each method will have its pros and cons. For example, both parent’s
ability to effectively communicate, the complexity of a potential agreement,
the post-agreement changes which are likely to occur, and the time invested
in crafting an agreement may all play a role in the decision to finalize
an arrangement. To complicate matters further, the best interest of a
child may change as proceedings continue to play out and evolve. When
seeking to understand what options may be best for your family, the services
of a knowledgeable attorney can prove to be invaluable.
Help for Child Custody and Paternity
If you have questions about a child custody or visitation agreement, do
not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles
family lawyers from Castellanos & Associates. There are many potential pitfalls involved
in finalizing a mediation agreement and our legal team can help you understand
what decisions may be right for your family. Backed by more than 40 years
of collective experience and numerous legal accolades, we possess the
tools to help you get through this difficult time.
Call (323) 212-5599 or
request a free case evaluation online to speak with an attorney about your situation.