California Changes Parenting Plan Agreements in Divorce and Paternity Cases

California Changes Parenting Plan Agreements in Divorce and Paternity Cases

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 divorce and 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.