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Child custody disputes require much effort and time to resolve

The end of a relationship between parents often results in disagreements over who will have custody of the children and how the children should be raised. In many situations, parents are able to arrive at a workable child custody plan before the matter goes before a family court judge. California has its own laws regarding how custody will be awarded, but the majority of courts attempt to preserve a child's relationship with both parents whenever possible.

According to many professionals, the issue of deciding on custody can be an expensive and complicated process, especially when the parents are unable to work together effectively. It is estimated that 20 percent of the disputes that come before a family court judge involve allegations of domestic violence or other potentially serious issues. In these cases, judges are tasked with attempting to determine what arrangements will protect a child's best interest while still preserving a parent-child relationship. Unfortunately, judges may have limited information about the personality traits of either parent.

Several states are revising their custody laws in favor of facilitating shared parenting as much as circumstances permit. Nearly a decade ago, one state passed laws that would require judges to take many different points into consideration when issuing custody orders. Those laws also stipulate that judges provide written reasoning for their determination in order for future judges to have a record to review if a need arises to make revisions to the previous order.

In spite of the child custody law revisions, there are calls for one Pennsylvania judge to be removed after one case had a tragic -- though rare -- outcome. The vast majority of child custody disputes can be peaceably resolved with the guidance of an experienced and compassionate professional. California families who need assistance in creating a parenting plan that best meets the needs of their children may benefit from consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

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