Family situations are rapidly changing. Many of the changes stem from society’s changing views on individual roles in the family dynamic. Unfortunately, divorce is now a common occurrence and blended families (families made of two parents and their children from previous marriages) are on the rise. This raises the issue of who will be making daily life decisions for the child or children after a divorce or separation.
Additionally, since the legalization of same-sex marriages in California the roles of parenthood have changed. The question of who will take custody of the child or children from a gay couple will be up for debate as the courts tackle this complex scenario. For example, who will have custody, and who will provide child support? What will the roles of each parent be, whether biological or adoptive? This will have to be addressed, while always making sure that the child or children’s best interests are being protected.
Here are some of the trends that family law has seen in recent years that are affecting many types of familial circumstances. If you are facing a similar situation, it is recommended that you speak with a California family law attorney familiar with the courts in your jurisdiction.
Custody Awards to Either Parent
The days of the mother always getting custody simply because she is the mother is no longer the norm. While it is often assumed the mother will automatically receive custody of the children, it is not legally guaranteed in a divorce. Changes in family dynamics such as same-sex parents has also changed the way child custody is to be awarded. It is a topic that will continue to evolve as same-sex marriages end up in family court during a divorce or separation proceeding.
Divorce is common and trending. As a result, what constitutes a family is being redefined. Divorced parents are remarrying and children who will grow up have two sets of parents rather than the traditional set of parents. This new dynamic creates two separate but equally important families for the child. The result is step-parents becoming involved in daily decisions over their step-children and legal issues arising from that situation.
Change of Custody Agreements
A petition can be filed to reopen the original custody agreement. In some situations, parents want to push back for more or less visitation. This usually happens when either parent changes career paths. As a result, they may find they need more help than their original settlement allowed. These changes often lead to re-negotiation of the custody arrangement created at the time of the divorce or separation of the couple.
Family law practices and trends are constantly changing; they are constantly being impacted by the changing expectations within society. When you are facing divorce it is important to be aware and understand the trends. It can help you ensure you are taking care of your family and protecting your rights and responsibilities as a parent.
Regardless of whether you are part of a blended family or a same-sex marriage, a divorce attorney can give you specific legal advice to avoid serious complications in the future.