Los Angeles Divorce Attorney
Child Custody and Divorce Lawyer in Los Angeles


CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS


How do we get a custody and visitation order?

To set up a custody/visitation order for your children:

  • you,
  • the other parent, or
  • the local child support agency (formerly the district attorney)

must
start a court case.

The kind of case you can start depends on whether or not you're married to the other parent or have a
registered domestic partnership.


How do I change a custody and visitation order?
Once a parenting plan has been signed by a Court, the parties can change the plan by agreement
which they then submit to the Court. If they cannot agree a party can request that the Court modify the
plan. If the plan is part of a final custody determination that party must prove that a change is in the
best interests of the children and they may also have to show that there has been a substantial change
of circumstances if the plan gave one parent primary custody.


What do I have to show to ask for a change of the custody and visitation order?
You have to show that there has been a “change in circumstances” since the final custody order was
made. This means that there has been a significant change that requires a new custody and visitation
arrangement for the best interest of the children.  

The reason there has to be a significant change is that it is best for children to have stable and
consistent custody arrangements with their parents.  Final custody orders should only be changed if it
would be best for the children.


What is the process to ask for a court date for custody and/or visitation?
If you need to set up a court date, first ask your mediator at Family Court Services to make sure you
don’t have to go to mediation before you file any papers.  

The most common way to ask for a court date on custody issues is:

Fill out t
he Order to Show Cause (Form FL-300) and the Application for Order and Supporting
DeclarationForm (
FL-310).  Make at least 2 copies.   Make sure you use the right case number for your
custody case.
File your forms with the court clerk.  The clerk will probably give you a court date. You may have to
meet with the mediator before the court date or go to a mediation orientation. Ask the clerk if you’re not
sure.
Serve the other parent in person with a copy of your papers and a blank Responsive Declaration to
Order to Show Cause or Notice of Motion (
Form FL-320) at least 16 days before your court date.
Have your server fill out a Proof of Service (
Form FL-330) and file it with the court.
Go to your court hearing, bring a copy of all your papers and your P
roof of Service. Make sure that you
go to mediation before your court date if the rules in your county require it.


Additional articles on Child Custody:




Contact a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney at Law Offices of Warren R. Shiell to discuss your
custody issues.
Call for a free consultation now 310.247.9913.

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