Film Review: Nothing is Black and White in “Custody”

High conflict custody is familiar fodder for movies.  From 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer"  featuring Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman to the film “Boyhood”  that came out a few years ago, most are tame compared to "Custody"

Watching “Custody” reminded me of the days I worked for the Superior Court of Los Angeles as a child custody mediator and evaluator.  We called the public spaces around our office the 'Hall of Tears.'  This film takes viewers on a multitude of harrowing wrong turns and lost opportunities in a bitter custody battle, as a consequence of a messy divorce.  

Here are 8 takeaways...


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Shared Custody Agreements: What to Expect

Shared Custody vs. Sole Custody

When it comes to legal custody, the difference between shared custody and sole custody really comes down to who has the decision-making power. In a sole custody arrangement, one parent makes the decisions. They may (and should) take input from the other parent, but the custodial parent has the final say.

If you have any type of shared legal custody, regardless of your physical custody situation, both parents have equal decision-making power by default. So even if your ex only takes the kids every other weekend, you'll still have to agree on any big...


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Co-parenting with an Asshole – Or Someone Who Does Things Much Differently Than You

Without question, one of the biggest hurdles in a divorce is how to deal with shared custody.

In many post-dissolution relationships, custody disputes are the gifts that just keep giving. And it’s not so much about physical custody or shared time, but, rather, the issues incident to legal custody: your children’s health, welfare, academics and the general topics that are sometimes tough to deal with, even when the parents are on the same page and under the same roof.

When parents split up, there are often shifts in thinking, with regard to many of the tacit agreements made during...


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Co-Parenting During the Holidays

The holidays can be stressful times. For children of divorced or separated parents, the holidays can be even more difficult. However, despite these challenges, divorcing or separating spouses still have the opportunity to create a happy holiday season for their children while still maintaining their own sanity. In this post, we will discuss some common custody arrangements that will help families avoid the additional stress of the court system as well as provide tips on how to make the holiday season enjoyable for everyone. (See also our other post on having a happy Halloween during a...


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Dissolution of Marriage Can Improve Parenting

Here are 5 ways to be a better parent after a divorce!

Whether it’s been a few months or a few years since you and your spouse made the choice for dissolution of marriage, maintaining a healthy relationship with your children post-divorce is probably on your mind. While it can be tough to stay active and involved if you're not seeing your children every day (or if you're suddenly spinning way more plates in the role of single parent), it is possible to create and cultivate meaningful, positive relationships after a dissolution of marriage, and these five tips can get you started.


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