In addition to my first post on Frequently Asked Questions. Below is another question about family law I frequently hear around town.
Q: I am the parent who primarily cares for the kids. The court will give me primary custody in the divorce, right?
-Tired Parent in Castro Valley, CA
A: The short answer here is: “Maybe.” Not a great answer, right? Remember, courts are mandated by law to make custody orders that are in the best interests of the children. This wide discretion allows a court to keep the status quo if it determined it was in the children’s best interests to do so, or modify the parenting schedule to allow the previously less-involved parent to have more time with the children. I have often had to tell my clients that just because one parent has been historically less involved with the children does not mean it will be that way forever. A life change like a divorce often also changes priorities, and custody can change as well.
Here is a nice guide to developing a parenting plan, put out by the state of California, for separated parents of children.