Gumm & Green, LLP, Attorneys at Law
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How to discuss changes to custody or visitation

There may come a point when a child of divorce wants to live with his or her other parent. This can be difficult to hear even if a California parent has been expecting to hear it. It is important to have a calm and rational discussion about the matter even if it can be hurtful for a mother or father to discuss. However, it is a good idea to set ground rules and expectations as to how to talk about a change of residency.

For instance, the parties should agree to remain calm and respectful of each other's feelings. In some cases, it may be a good idea to actually allow the other parent to be part of the conversation. This can allow decisions to made as a family, and it is likely that the child has asked both parents about making a change.

Ideally, a parent will not take a request to live with the other parent personally. It is also a good idea to spend time considering the child's point of view and why he or she may want to live elsewhere. In many cases, the fact that a son or daughter wants to live with the other parent isn't a reflection on the custodial mother or father's parenting skills. While the request doesn't have to be granted, it is generally not a good idea to avoid talking about the subject.

The best interests of the child are the top priority whenever a custody or visitation decision needs to be made. It is possible that a child will have to remain with a certain parent even if the child isn't happy about it. An attorney may be able to discuss custody or visitation matters with a parent and talk about the process of changing an order.

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