California parents who have to negotiate custody and visitation agreements after their marriage has come to an end often find that it can be very contentious. Even if other issues that are common during a divorce, such as financial matters, may be relatively easy to resolve, coming to an agreement on terms for parenting arrangements can be difficult.
Child custody arrangements often include a visitation and custody schedule that specifies the place, time and manner an exchange will occur. The child custody exchange occurs whenever a child is transferred from the physical custody of one parent to the other. The exchanges are considered to part of a parent's visitation rights as they are founded on the belief that no matter what other types of child custody issues that have to be addressed, both parents still have the right to have time with their children.
The high emotions and contention that can result from child custody exchanges can make the procedure difficult, although many exchanges occur every day with few or no issues. However, when disagreements arise regarding topics such as child support or school, the environment can become hostile, and parents may engage in behavior that is emotionally and physically damaging in view of their children. There are also cases in which such situations have become dangerous.
A family law attorney may work to assist parents who have complex child custody issues to resolve. The attorney will evaluate the factors of a client's case, inquire about the client's goals and advise of the appropriate legal options. The legal options may include requesting a child custody modification, filing for sole custody or any other motions that the parent may believe to be in the best interest of his or her child.