Determining Custody and Parenting Time

Sharing custody of your child or children can be emotional and difficult. There are a few things to keep in mind when determining the custody and parenting time for your child (or children).

Parenting Plan

During mediation both parents will work with a mediator to attempt to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan will include factors such as physical custody and legal custody, communication between parents, and even creating a plan for resolving disputes. A parenting plan is also referred to as a “custody and visitation agreement.” Although both parties may come to an agreement for a parenting plan or custody and visitation agreement, the court has the ability to make a different final decision in the best interest of the child.

Cooperative Co-Parenting

Children thrive from consistency. Keeping their routine as normal as possible will help ensure a smoother transition. Children also benefit from the regular presence of both parents, but tension between parents can make the situation harder on the child. Additionally, major decisions should be made together.

Child Support in Relation to Custody

A child support order is separate from a child custody and visitation order. You cannot refuse to let the other parent see the children just because he or she is not paying the child support he or she owes. Furthermore, you cannot refuse to pay child support just because the other parent is not letting you see your children. With that being said, child support and custody are related because the amount of time each parent spends with the children will affect the amount of child support. Generally speaking, the less time a parent has a with a child, the more that parent pays in child support.

If you are in a child custody dispute, Morales Law, P.C. offers free consultations to provide guidance on how to proceed. Visit or call 805-422-7966 for more information. We are located at 718-B State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.