Custody and Visitation Are Fighting Words

September 17th, 2009 · 7:59 pm @   - 

Custody and visitation are fighting words for many of us.

Professionals (such as therapist and family court appointed evaluators) emphasize the needs and interests of the children, not the rights of the parents. For example, according to the most recent research and literature on child development, infants are capable of forming multiple attachments and bonds. That means infants can and should spend time with both Mom and Dad after divorce.

Just a few years ago experts believed an infant was at risk if the child spent more than a few hours away from the primary caretaker – usually the mother. That prevented courts from allowing a father to spend an overnight with an infant, and sometimes even curtailed overnights with a child under the age of five. That was consistent with the best interests of the child, according to the old school of jurisprudence. The father’s rights were less important than the child’s need for an undisturbed bonding experience with Mom.  Courts are now incorporating the latest research into visitation guidelines and rethinking antiquated views on parenting. 

While it is a new era for parenting, there are still many areas of custody/visitation that are in need of an overhaul.  In many courts in California there is often an implied standard for parents called the “perfect parent syndrome.”  This entails holding parents to unrealistic and often unattainable ideals for parenting.  Having the right attorney can help you navigate through these minefields and prevent undue prejudice in your case.

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