California Divorce & Children | Will I Have To Go To Court

If you have children and are going through a divorce, will you have to go to court? Put another way, if you have children is going to court mandatory?

I was asked this the other day of a new client of ours who said she had heard from a friend who went through divorce that if you have children, you have to go to court.

This is not the case.

As with any other issues you need to settle as part of your California divorce, the only reason you would have to see a judge or go to a court hearing is in the event you do not agree. Because we are always discussing the amicable approach to divorce in California, i will answer this questions like i do all others.  The only reason you will ever go to court is in the event you and your spouse do not agree.

The same applies to when you have children and going through a divorce in California.  The courts don’t want you in their courtroom unless you ask to to have your matter heard by a judge which is called a hearing or trial.  Just because you have kids does not mean that court is mandatory.

When going through a divorce in California, the children are just one more part of the puzzle that needs to be figured out between the parties.  You will need to come up with a parenting plan of sorts. This may be a full parenting plan where you and your spouse account for every minute of every day of your children’s custody schedule or can be as simple as indicating to the court that you and your spouse will have joint legal and joint physical custody of the children.

Most of our clients decide that they do not want the court’s involvement in their divorce. Meaning, they prefer not to have specific child custody orders in place so they can have the flexibility in their parenting. Many of our clients do this because they do not feel it necessary to memorialize or put into writing how they are going to handle the child custody situation.

You can decide to have a detailed child custody schedule or you can simply say that the parties will make the decisions regarding the child custody and visitation on an ongoing basis in the best interest of the children.

Most people re surprised to know that it can be this simple when it comes to children and divorce, but it is just that simple. Or i should say, can be that simple if you want it to be.