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Single parents in Yolo, Sacramento and Placer County Family Courts face a difficult choice when raising a child, where the other parent is out of the picture. You may need child support. You may need to obtain federal government forms like a passport that may or may not require the signatures of both parents.

In both cases, you may need to contact the other parent, or bring them into court for an order. But if the parent is already out of the picture – and you like it that way – you will never get what you need, without losing what you want. In other words, you need the child support. You need the federal papers. And you want the other parent to stay out of your child’s life like he or she already has.

But if you haul the other parent into court, he or she just may decide that now is the time to become a parent, and demand his or her own time with the children.

The question is one of risk and reward, i.e., whether the order one is ultimately seeking is worth the risk of the other parent re-entering the lives of the children, which the caretaker parent has decided would not be in the children’s best interest.

Sometimes, however, the fear is unfounded. The other parent may not want to be part of the children’s lives. Moreover, a family court judge is not merely going to decide tomorrow that the children ought to spend half their time with this stranger. Even if the other parent does want to re-enter the children’s lives, the court will take reunification slowly, ensuring the children are emotionally ready for it. This might require months of pre-reunification counseling depending on the circumstances.

The fact is that there’s just no way to know what will happen until you ask. This is where the help of an experienced family law attorney is most critical – giving you an idea of the risks and rewards involved in your case, and how you might strategize to maximize the rewards, and minimize the risks.

Author Photo

Brian enters the family law profession with a refreshing approach to these proceedings: heal families; don’t destroy them. In some cases, this means the family is going to look different than it did before. In other cases, this means a new family is created where there was none before. Either way, individuals should leave family court knowing their voices were heard, and with healthy attitudes about themselves and those they love.

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