Custody means caring for and being responsible for another person. (more…)
Custody and Visitation
When you go to court for a custody hearing, you want to make sure you make a good impression on the judge and everyone who is attending the hearing. You can do this by dressing appropriately, taking the time to prepare for your hearing, and showing respect.
Do your best to answer them.
Depending on the type of court hearing, the court may
- make decisions without you,
- close your case,
- issue a warrant for your arrest, and/or
- hold you in contempt of court (which can mean jail time).
Call the court clerk and your lawyer before your court date. If you are a witness in a criminal case, call the District Attorney. Explain why you cannot be there. The court may give you a new court date.
The other parent can spend time with the child. This is called visitation. (more…)
The law says both legal parents have equal rights to custody of their child. But if you do not have a court order, you cannot make the other parent give the child back, unless the child is not safe.
The court wants you and the other parent to agree about child custody and make a parenting plan on your own.
A parenting plan is a good idea even if your relationship is going well.
If your plan is reasonable, the court will probably approve it.
A visitation order is a plan for how parents will share time with their children . It’s usually a good idea to get a visitation order, even if the other parent is not in your life right now.
Supervised visitation is when another adult stays with the child and parent when they visit to make sure the child is safe. If you are worried about the child’s safety, you can ask the court for supervised visitation.
Call the police.
It can be a crime to hide a child from the other parent, especially if you have a current custody or visitation order.
It depends. (more…)
Yes, if you can.
Above all, the court wants children to be safe. If you can show that your child may not be safe with the other parent, the court will probably not give custody to that parent.
If you cannot agree, ask the court to order a parenting plan that is best for your child.