Parents in San Diego and throughout California struggle with child custody matters every day. The disputes are some of the most difficult to confront, due to the intense emotions that naturally accompany dividing up time with ones children. But famous people may have an even tougher go of it: their disputes are front and center for the world to see, judge and talk about. Take the case of Allen Iverson, former NBA star, and his estranged ex-wife, Tawanna Iverson. Their sordid story includes allegations of missed child support payments and child abductions. Anyone with child custody questions, from the most basic issues to the more complicated scenarios, are encouraged to reach out to a local family law attorney who can help protect their rights.
According to a recent news article, Tawanna Iverson was granted sole legal and primary physical custody of their five children, ranging in age from three to 16. At one of their divorce hearings, the judge criticized Allen for his “poor parenting skills.” A few months later, Tawanna was back in court, claiming that Allen had failed to pay $40,000 in child support. And now, adding to all of this, Tawanna has filed legal documents alleging that Allen abducted their children at a time when he was only supposed to be taking them on vacation. According to her legal filing, Tawanna is trying to force her ex-husband to return the kids to their home. Allen has filed his own legal documents through which he has denied all of the allegations.
In California, child custody orders typically identify two types of parental responsibility: 1) legal custody, that is, the parent who makes important decisions for the children with respect to items such as health care, education, and general welfare; and 2) physical custody, the parent with whom the children actually live. Legal custody can be further broken down by the way parents divide the decision-making responsibility, if at all. For example, there are two types of legal custody: “joint custody” and “sole custody.” Joint custody means that both parents will share the right and responsibility to make the significant decisions about the health, education, and welfare of the children. Sole custody, on the other hand, is where only one parent has the right and duty to make such decisions.
In cities and towns throughout California, when a judge issues an order concerning child custody and visitation, it becomes an order of the court and it has the force of law. Such orders contain important information and should be kept in a safe place that is readily accessible. As in the Iverson child custody dispute, if a parent violates the parenting plan, by keeping the children beyond the restrictions of the court’s order, the other parent may seek help from the local authorities and from an experienced family law attorney in the area. In such a case, the custodial parent may file an action for “contempt”, asking the court to enforce the order. A parent who defies a custody order is a serious matter and must be handled with the appropriate legal assistance.
If you need assistance with child custody and visitation matters, you are encouraged to contact Doppelt & Forney. Mr. Doppelt is an experienced family law attorney representing parents for more than 20 years in Southern California. Doppelt & Forney serves clients in Linda Vista, Encinitas, Scripps Ranch, San Diego, and throughout Southern California. For a free consultation with a dedicated and experienced family lawyer, contact Doppelt & Forney through the law firm’s website or give us a call toll-free at (800) ROY IS IT (769-4748).
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