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Reaching child custody agreements when disputes arise

In some California divorce and child custody matters, issues will arise after the orders are in place. Parents may disagree about a variety of different issues, including such things as participating in extracurricular activities or other things. When parents have disagreements, there are several approaches to resolving their child custody disputes.

Litigation is available to parents who are wrangling with each other over a child custody issue. Either parent may file a motion with the court that issued the original custody order to request a modification that addresses the new issue. Litigation can be expensive, however, and people may not get the results that they want when they leave their issues up to a judge.

If it is possible, people might want to try to reach agreements outside of court. Mediation may be a good alternative. With this processs, both parents meet with a mediator who is trained to help people reach agreements. If an agreement is reached, it should be memorialized in writing and the signed document filed with the court so that it becomes part of the court's orders in the case. Another method is a collaborative process in which each parent hires his or her own collaborative law attorney along with any experts that might apply to the particular issues. The parents each agree not to litigate, and all of them meet together to work out a solution.

The best interests of the child control child custody decisions. Even if something is in the best interests of the parents, courts will not order it if it is not in the child's best interests as well. People might want to consult with family law attorneys about their own situations.

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