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How parents can handle child custody and visitation

When parents in Alameda County make a decision to live apart from each other, both may need to come to an agreement about child custody and visitation. While each family has its own unique circumstances, several types of arrangements are some of the most common options to arrange shared parenting time. Among the options that are most popular are weekly joint custody schedules, weekend visitation options, vacation and holiday visitation, and supervised or third-party visitation.

Some families have one primary custodial parent with whom the children live during the week. That parent has primary responsibility for the children's educational, family and social activities and usually receives child support. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent will often have the children for the weekend. Other parents who live relatively close to one another may opt for an alternate weekly custody agreement. Children go back and forth between each parent's home on a weekly basis. This is a common arrangement when both parents have joint custody and are equally accessible to the children's educational and social needs.

In other cases, however, one parent lives a significant distance from the other. In this case, vacation and holiday visitation with regular telephone or video calls may be a better option that allows a parent to remain an active part of the children's life while living farther away. When there are concerns about neglect or abuse, however, alternate arrangements may be necessary. Visitation with the children may take place in a public area or under supervision by a counselor or other third party.

Parents who are separating might face challenges in coming to an agreement about how to handle child custody and visitation. A family law attorney may work with a single parent to pursue a custody agreement and, if needed, to put a child support order in place.

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