At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our Certified Family Law Specialist in San Bernardino understands that when couples with children decide to divorce, their priorities shift, so their focus is on the best interests of their kids.

This is good news because our divorce attorney also knows that is exactly where the court’s focus will be when parents cannot agree on child custody details, and the judge is charged with deciding for them.

To avoid a stranger, albeit a respected family court judge, from making decisions about where your kids will live after the divorce, it behooves most parents to create a parenting plan on their own, since they are the ones who actually know what is best for their kids.

That is not to say it is going to be easy. Divorce is never easy. Even for couples who can make all their decisions in mediation, avoiding the courtroom altogether.

However, agreeing on a California parenting plan will allow the children to have structure and support while preventing challenges — or even arguments — when altered schedules, life changes, or even emergencies arise.

To follow are some of the things both parents should consider when constructing a successful parenting plan.

First Up: Schedules, Breaks, Holidays, Special Occasions & Vacations

Whether you have decided to split the children’s time with each parent 50/50, or in another percentage, the first set of visitation — or parenting plan — decision details will surround the kids’ schedules, including weekends, school breaks, holidays, special occasions, and vacations.

Will they alternate weekends at each parent’s home? Will extended school breaks be split in half? Will the parents alternate the holidays with the kids?

Believe it or not, those are the easy questions.

You must also decide where they will spend their birthdays, important functions like extended family’s weddings and other celebrations.

This can be accomplished easier when you consider your kids’ best interests.

For instance, do they have a particularly close relationship with one spouse’s parents? Then they will probably want to attend family reunions and grandparents’ birthdays, or other important third-party celebrations.

These arrangements are unique to each couple, so please be sure to focus on your family’s needs to ensure your kids are getting what they need from their time with both parents.

Next: Transportation, Car Seat Requirements & Neutral Drop-off Locations

Some couples will need neutral drop off locations, which are typically designed to keep boundaries in place.

They may also need to discuss who can and cannot transport their children, and vehicle requirements, like car or booster seats, when relevant to their kids’ needs.

This becomes important when carpooling is a standard transportation solution in your home.

For instance, let’s say you take the kids to soccer practice, and have always allowed another parent to bring them home, or if you make such an arrangement going forward. The other parent should be made aware of these arrangements, so they know who their kids are with, and when.

If your ex-spouse finds out on their own that an unknown individual has been driving their child around, it could lead to an argument that will affect the kids.

Who’s Going to Watch the Children When You Are Not Available?

It would be ideal that when the kids are in one or the other parent’s care, they are the only ones watching them. But it just isn’t practical.

There are going to be times when your schedule conflicts with your parenting time. It literally happens to every parent. The best plan of attack is to, well, have a plan.

Will the kids go to your parent’s home during that time? Is there a trusted sitter who will be charged with the duties? This is an important decision, and it should be made with each other’s approval, so it does not create tension when the occasion arises.

Finally, Outline Reasonable Personal Rules & Preferences

It is going to be difficult, if not impossible, for both parents to agree to — and practice — the same parenting rules.

Easy decisions may include establishing curfews, screen time restrictions, and how the kids communicate with the other parent while they are away.

Manageable decisions may include expectations regarding school activities, sports, and religion.

Harder conversations may revolve around discipline methods and rules for if and when the parents introduce their kids to new dating partners.

This is not an exhaustive list of factors, as each family’s dynamic is different. However, making some key decisions now may save a lot of snarls later. And that is what kids of divorce really need — coparents.

If you would like to discuss how your divorce may affect your children, including how they split their time, contact our San Bernardino County family law attorney at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss your concerns, so we can create a customized legal approach for your unique needs. 

- What Goes Inside a Successful California Parenting Plan?

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our Certified Family Law Specialist and divorce attorney in San Bernardino, California understands that just because your divorce has been finalized does not mean the people involved have changed their habits or personalities.

The reality is, even after you get divorced, both you and your ex-spouse may grow differently, but any challenging behavior that existed in your marriage may not be easily changed, forgiven, or repaired going forward.

We know it is difficult to forget about the distressing behaviors or actions that led to your divorce, which could make it even tougher to co-parent your children under two different roofs, with two sets of rules and parenting styles.

Here are a few tips on co-parenting with an ex-spouse who seemingly tries to make everything harder as their way of dealing with your new post-divorce lives.

Tip #1: It is Time to Accept the Things You Cannot Change

If you were married to a vindictive person before your divorce, chances are that person is still going to be spiteful after your divorce.

When you share child custody and all the responsibilities that come with it, you may want nothing more than for the other parent to get over their issues and put your children first.  

Unfortunately, he or she may not be capable of doing so. At least not yet. And, realistically, maybe never.

When divorces are new, so are the challenges that come with co-parenting.

You both should be focusing on your kids’ well-being, but also understand that if you could not change the other parent’s behavior when you were married, there is very little chance of you changing them now that you are divorced.

While neither parent should be exhibiting physical, emotional, or verbal abuse, you may find it easier to deal with their potentially not-so-great attitude when you accept that is who they are and stop trying to control how they behave, react, or respond to their co-parenting responsibilities.

The good news is, you do not have to deal with it full time, under the same roof any longer.

You simply need to focus on your eactions and parenting choices instead.

Tip #2 Define Boundaries and Stick to Them

Now that you are your ex-spouse are separated by physical boundaries, it is time to set personal boundaries too.

This can be difficult because high-conflict people either do not know or do not care if they are crossing personal boundaries. If this is true of your ex-spouse, you know this already.

Now that you are divorced, it is time to stand on your own and demand the respect that you deserve by setting strict boundaries.

Everyone’s co-parenting circumstances are different and unique, and so are the boundaries they should set.

For instance, if you are adhering to your custody agreement and everyone is safe, you do not have to defend yourself or your parenting style. So, don’t.

You do not have to respond to emotional attacks or high-conflict behavior.

And you do not need to respond to text messages or emails from your ex-spouse if they do not pertain to your child’s well-being.

Consider limiting your communication through co-parenting apps that allow you both to manage events and appointments, documents, expenses, custody schedules, and messaging.

Tip #3: Never Take What the Other Parent Says Personally

Co-parenting is the act of raising children with someone you used to be in a relationship with, which means he or she knows exactly what to say, and exactly what to do, to push your buttons.

This is hard to stop, and even harder to keep from taking personally.

As it was when you were married, most high-conflict people are simply projecting their issues onto you.

It was true then, and it is true now, so do not waste your time listening to the same upsetting words or behavior you had to endure during your relationship.

Disengage from the conversation completely until the other person can keep the conversation civil and focused on the children’s needs.

Avoiding conflict will remove the tension from your conversations and will continue to remain calmer when you do not react to their behavior.

If you are considering divorce, and are concerned about how you are going to co-parent with someone who has a high-conflict personality, contact our San Bernardino County family law attorney at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss your concerns and learn how we can help create child custody solutions that allow you to focus on your children.

- How to Handle an Unforgiving Ex-Spouse While Co-Parenting Children

Chances are, if you are divorced and share minor children with your ex-spouse, 2020 has been an exceptional challenge when navigating parenting plans and custody agreements.

With local health guidelines constantly changing to slow the spread of COVID, parents are charged with adjusting their kid’s schedules on the fly, which is not always easy when juggling their needs from two separate households.

There is no doubt the arrival of COVID-19 in the U.S. and its effect on everything from shopping for essential goods like groceries and medications to turning your home into an office and a school changed your day-to-day life.

If that weren’t jarring enough, you had to figure out how to maintain your custody agreement while potentially exposing your children — and your home — to the virus by allowing the kids to come and go in uncontrollable settings.

You and your ex-spouse have probably had this conversation when the pandemic led to a mandated stay-at-home order in California.

Now, the holidays are here.

The matter is not simply how we successfully share our children, but how do we safely split their time between two or more households during the holidays with a health crisis looming?

Like most things divorce-related, communication will be the key to getting through 2020.

Our divorce attorney in San Bernardino has a few ideas on how to maintain your sanity and household health during the holidays.

First: Outline Each Parent’s Safety Expectations

By now, you and your spouse are probably aware of each other’s virus-related requirements. Whether you have voiced your opinion about your kids visiting friends while they are with their other parent or have heard the other parent talk about their day-to-day expectations, the pain points you share will be amplified over the holidays.

You must have a conversation with the other parent about their holiday plans. Whether they have the kids for half the day, the whole day, or several days, you must agree on the plan.

Will they be visiting other family members? How many houses will they visit? Is everyone healthy enough to be included on these trips?

Although it is a very stressful time, and the Centers for Disease Control has all but demanded everyone stay in their homes with their immediate families — for the holidays, you cannot control how your kids spend their time outside of your home. However, you can understand where they are going, why it is important, and what steps they are taking to remain safe while they are there.

Remain positive about your kids’ holiday plans with their co-parent and provide each child with the resources they need to remain safe, like washing their hands often and tips on social distancing. They, too, have been living in the COVID-era, so, depending on their ages, they understand the requirements. Positive reinforcement will go much further than scare tactics.

Next: Do Not Request a Lot of Changes to the Existing/Agreed Upon Holiday Schedule

This may be difficult, as this year is not holiday business as usual.

However, if it is your ex-spouse’s holiday, and you have a set schedule, stick to it.

Try not to request changes to the schedule unless it is necessary.

Keep in mind, this year has been trying for everyone, including your kids.

They would probably prefer some type of normalcy during the holidays — even if that means maintaining their current schedule to stay home or observe the existing custody agreement.

Conversely, if your co-parent requests a change to the holiday schedule, consider the big picture of the request.

You never know when you may need to make a similar request, and if they are asking because someone in their home may have been exposed to the coronavirus, it is an obvious yes.

Communication and respect are key to happy holidays, even during a pandemic.

Finally: Do Not Involve the Kids

Holiday schedule negotiations are not the time to ask your children to choose where they want to be for each event.

Co-parenting requires you and your ex-spouse to make decisions without involving the children, so they do not feel pressured to choose a side.

Instead, focus on keeping your household safe while allowing your children to enjoy the holidays with both sides of their families, even when it involves small gatherings and online visits.

As 2020 winds down, and hopefully brings better days with the New Year, you may have questions about your existing custody agreement and how you can modify it based on everything you have learned during the pandemic.

Contact Us Now

Contact our San Bernardino County Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss how modifying your existing agreements may provide a boost to your and the kids’ quality of life in 2021.

- Navigating Holiday Parenting Plans During a Pandemic

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our divorce attorney in San Bernardino knows that even when a divorce is amicable, and both spouses respect the fact that it is time to move on, the process is still stressful, exhausting, and confusing.

After one spouse files for divorce, there are many decisions to be made regarding property division, spousal support, and child custody and support requirements when you have children.

These important decisions can lead to disagreements, pressure, and anxiety, simply because you thought you would never be making them. No matter what your relationship is with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, things are going to be strained at some point throughout the divorce process.

Fortunately, you can avoid destructive behavior when you know where to look for it.

The first step in avoiding damaging behavior is to partner with an experienced divorce attorney in San Bernardino, California who can provide the emotional support and legal guidance you need to make informed decisions about your future with confidence.

Our Certified Family Law Specialist has a few other tips to help guide you through the often rocky path of divorce proceedings, so you can come out on top once the paperwork is finalized.

Divorce Tip #1: Communicate with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. 

There are many reasons why one spouse may not want to talk to the other when the divorce papers are filed. One spouse may be too hurt to even consider it. Some do not like confrontation. Others may be too angry.

Whatever your personal relationship becomes after the divorce papers are filed, both spouses must continue to communicate throughout the process.

While emotions may run high at first, especially if you have minor children, you must set a good example for their future.

If it is just you and your spouse, talking will allow you to get through the process easier — and quicker. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

Divorce Tip #2: Do not play the blame game.

Placing blame during divorce proceedings is incredibly natural. After all, it is someone’s fault that this is happening, right?

Few people are prepared to accept responsibility for their own actions, especially if these actions have led to a negative outcome — like divorce.

It is easier to blame the other person, but no good will come from it. Moving forward will allow you to separate negative thoughts from your day-to-day actions, so you can move forward without harming your outlook on life.

Divorce Tip #3: Never use your kids against each other. 

While most parents would never dream of using their kids to hurt, manipulate, or shame the other parent, some people may do so unintentionally.

Do not belittle your ex, or speak badly of them, in front of your children. This is their other parent, and it is best to support their relationship, so they can count on being raised by two encouraging parents who are focused on their futures.

If you are considering divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, contact our San Bernardino County Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss your case, so we can walk you through the next steps and provide the resources you need to pursue this important process with positivity.

- Avoiding Destructive Behavior During a California Divorce

As challenging as 2020 has been so far, getting divorced during a pandemic may be increasingly complex compared to a time when we were free to move about the court system unimpeded by closures, scheduling backlogs, social distancing, and mask requirements.

Once divorce documents have been filed, it is not a forgone conclusion that one person moves out of the family home. The truth is, filing for a divorce in California is just the beginning of a potentially lengthy legal process — even without the delays COVID-19 presents.

When spouses could file for divorce and quickly move from their marital home into a temporary space — possibly staying with a friend or family member, or a short-term rental while the divorce details are determined — the coronavirus has limited some of those options.

Even before the quarantine was a household word, some simply do not have the financial stability to move, while others may stay to try and minimize any emotional distress the divorce may cause their children.

No matter the personal circumstances that have led to you and your spouse sharing a home during your divorce proceedings, our San Bernardino Certified Family Law Specialist has a few tips on making living separately (under the same roof) work.

Tips for Living In the Same` Home During a California Divorce 

Although living in the same home during a divorce is not ideal, spouses should work hard to amicably create a compromise for addressing important factors that will dictate how well this arrangement works in both the short- and long-term.

Those factors can include:

  • Parenting

While having both parents in the home during a divorce may provide stability for the children, it is also important to establish a parenting schedule that allows both parents to split equal time alone with the children.

At some point, one of the parents will be leaving the residence, and child custody decisions will be in place, so starting the emotional well-being and stability of shared parenting schedules may help ease the transition.

  • Separate Living Spaces

To qualify for a no-fault divorce where you have cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for dissolving your marriage, it is important for the soon-to-be exes to establish separate living spaces, even if under the same roof.

This will require setting and maintaining physical boundaries that divide the home as if it were two separate living spaces.

  • Household Chores 

Separate living spaces for the sake of irreconcilable differences will require separate household obligations, which means you tend to your living space, and the other spouse attends to his or hers.

  • Clean your own space
  • Do your own laundry
  • Cook for yourself

Parents can certainly have meals together when they share children, and that is only encouraged when it helps maintain a level of normalcy for the kids.

  • Household Expenses 

While you are finalizing the details of your divorce, the household expenses will still need to be paid in full each month until your divorce agreement is signed. You will both need to agree on those obligations and set forth the financial expectations for each to reach them.

  • Personal Living Expenses

Keep all personal living expenses separate until the court can decide on temporary/permanent spousal support orders.

Contact Our San Bernardino Certified Family Law Specialist Today for a Free Consultation

If you are considering divorce and have more questions than answers, contact our San Bernardino County Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to get the legal guidance you need to make informed decisions about your future.

- How Can My Spouse and I Successfully Live Together During Our California Divorce Proceedings?

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our San Bernardino Certified Family Law Specialist understands there is a lot of confusion regarding what happens when couples decide to divorce in California.

While our state allows temporary, rehabilitative, and permanent spousal support to be awarded during the divorce proceedings and as part of the final decree, it does not mean that every marriage dissolution will end in one spouse receiving alimony payments.

How Are Spousal Support Payments Determined in California?

Many legal factors determine if, how much, and how long spousal support is awarded after a San Bernardino County divorce.

Our California Legislation outlines those factors, which include the:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and health of both spouses
  • Debts and property distributed during the divorce
  • Needs of each person, based on the standard of living they had during the marriage
  • Recipient’s marketable skills and the employment opportunities
  • Childcare or unemployment affected the career of one spouse
  • Ability to work and properly raise children at the same time, when applicable
  • Existence of domestic violence
  • Recipient’s contribution to the education, training, professional license or career for the other spouse
  • Recipient’s ability to work without interfering with their children/family responsibilities
  • Payer’s ability to pay by calculating earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living

All spousal support requirements will be measured by their unique merits, which means your proven financial needs may be very different than another person. We will fully outline your case to ensure no detail is left to chance, so you can plan your financial future with confidence.

How Can the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb Ensure My Spousal Support Needs Are Met?

Once we can determine that spousal support is a necessary part of your divorce proceedings, we will move forward with preparing the legal paperwork necessary to pursue the award.

Our San Bernardino spousal support lawyer will provide:

  • Evidence to support the recipient’s overall spousal support needs
  • A complete review of the other spouse’s finances and ability to pay to assess an accurate calculation of payments
  • Determine which type of support is required going forward, including temporary and/or long-term

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our spousal support attorney in San Bernardino provides complete legal representation inside and outside of the courtroom until your case is finalized, so you never have to face your soon-to-be-ex-spouse or their attorney alone.

Contact Our Certified Family Law Specialist Today for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about your spousal support eligibility, contact our Certified San Bernardino Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to learn more about the evaluation process, so you can begin planning your financial future.

- Am I Guaranteed to Receive Spousal Support Payments After My California Divorce?

California divorces focus on many aspects that dictate both spouses’ financial futures.

There is the matter of equitably distributing assets and debts, examining eligibility for spousal support, and outlining child support requirements when the couple shares minor children.

Once the details are finalized, the payments that follow can often be a point of contention between the divorced parents.

The parent receiving the child support wants to ensure the allocated amount is enough to pay for the children’s complete needs.

The parent paying the child support wants to make sure that the money is going to the children.

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our San Bernardino family law attorney often explains to the paying parents that there are no regulations about what child support payments can and cannot be used for. It is equally important for our clients to understand that items that are purchased for the children, including shoes, entertainment, or travel, cannot be applied to the upcoming child support payment that is due.

Simply put, spending money on your children is not a substitute for the actual support payment.

Generally, any payment — either directly to the other parent, or to the children — in any form outside of the agreement is considered a type of gift.

What California Child Support-Paying Parents Should Know

Child support is often seen as a monetary amount that covers only food, shelter, and clothing for the children.

In reality, child support is meant to cover a range of expenses including, but not limited to:

  • Necessities like food, shelter, and clothing
  • Education
  • Healthcare and medical care
  • Entertainment
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Childcare
  • Transportation

However, much like the custodial parent may purchase items like a new electronic device or provide cash in the form of an allowance for chores the child does around the home, the other parent can provide the same financial gifts or incentives in addition to their regular child support payments.

However, any payments made outside of the final agreement or court-ordered child support payments are a gift and have no connection to the support payments.

Do You Have Questions About Paying or Receiving Child Support In California?

If you have questions about divorce, child custody, or child support matters, contact our San Bernardino County Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb at (909) 889-7111 to discuss our California child support guidelines and how the court evaluates each parent’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis, so you know what to expect when facing your spouse inside and outside the courtroom.

- Can I Count Items I Purchase For My Children Towards Child Support Payments?

According to the U.S. Census, the median age for men and women to marry in 1960 was approximately 22 and 20, respectively.

Last year, those ages swelled to 30 and 28. And that is not the only thing that has changed.

Since Americans are getting married later, they are accumulating more experience, more assets — and more debt — before marriage, which has contributed to prenuptial agreements becoming more popular in California over the past decade.

Prenuptial agreements used to carry a stigma that implied one half of the couple held all the financial power and was not willing to share it with their spouse, should they divorce.

Now, prenups provide a clear understanding of each soon-to-be-spouse’s financial standing and allow each person to plan both separately and together for their futures.

Protecting your financial interests may not be the most romantic conversation, but it is an intelligent one. Prenuptial agreements do more than protect an inheritance, business interest acquired income, or 401(k) and stocks to date. They also protect each person from accumulating the other’s individual debt, like excessive student loans, they may bring into the marriage.

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our San Bernardino prenuptial agreement attorney believes that prenuptial agreements are intended to provide each person with full disclosure of their spouse’s financial standing, so there are no surprises going forward.

Transparency is the cornerstone of trust, and our prenuptial agreement lawyer in San  Bernardino County will provide the legal representation you need to protect your interests now and going forward, so you can say, “I do” with confidence.

What Is Included In California Prenuptial Agreements?

Properties involved in a California prenuptial agreement can include obvious components like current earnings or bank account balances each spouse is bringing into the marriage.

They can also include future inheritances or assets for one party’s children from a previous relationship, so they are separate from the new relationship’s financial agreement.

Other common prenuptial agreement items can include:

  • Business interests or partnerships
  • Debts
  • Earnings
  • Financial interests
  • Income
  • Real estate

What Cannot Be Included In A San Bernardino Prenuptial Agreement?

The guidelines within the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act has applied to all California prenuptial agreements since 1986, and states what can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement.

The terms that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Any requirements for one spouse to commit illegal acts
  • Anything regarding child custody or child support
  • Non-financial requirements or terms regarding the relationship
  • Unfair, unjust, deceptive or exploitive terms

Spousal maintenance requirements can only be included in the prenuptial agreement if both parties have retained independent counsel before signing the agreement.

What Does It Take To Complete A California Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are designed to provide complete transparency for both people.

The following items must be part of the finalized agreement:

  • Lawful terms within a written contract
  • Complete financial information from both parties
  • Signatures from both parties
  • Signed voluntarily without deceit, duress, coercion, or intimidation
  • Notarized document

If only one attorney has been retained to create the prenuptial agreement, the other party has at least seven days to have the document reviewed by independent legal counsel before signing.

Prenuptial agreements are not designed in anticipation of divorce. They are designed to provide full financial transparency that strengthens the relationship and the marriage now and going forward.

If you have questions about creating a prenuptial agreement, contact our San Bernardino Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb at (909) 889-7111 to discuss the details involved in outlining a legal financial contract for both you and your soon-to-be-spouse today.

- Removing The Stigma From Prenuptial Agreements In San Bernardino

For some California children, grandparents provide love, support, stability, mentoring, guidance, and fun that their parents cannot, either through visitation or by sharing the same home.

Often, these grandparents are compelled to step in to ensure their grandchildren remain in a safe and supportive environment when their parents cannot provide the physical and emotional support their children need.

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our San Bernardino family law attorney understands that there are unlimited reasons why parents may default on their custodial duties, and we are not here to judge those circumstances.

We are here to help ensure children who need their grandparents to grow into thriving young adults have the legal support their grandparents need to create positive solutions.

How Many Grandchildren Live With Their Grandparents in California?

Over 1.2 million kids ages 18 and under live with their grandparents or other family members in the State of California. Of that number, the majority, or over 826,000, live with grandparents who are the head of the household, which means their parents may not be consistently involved in their lives.

What Are Some of the Common Reasons Grandparents Seek Custody of Their Grandchildren?

Life can be very difficult for parents, children, and extended family members when things are less than ideal at home.

When parents are knowingly — or unknowingly, in some circumstances — placing their children in danger, grandparents may seek custody of the children to provide a stable and safe home.

Common reasons for California grandparents to seek custody of their grandkids may stem from one or both parents:

  • Death
  • Deemed unfit to retain custody
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Imprisonment
  • Mental illness
  • Military deployment
  • Neglect or abandonment
  • Substance abuse problems

In some cases, the child’s parents may consent to the grandparent’s custody, and in others, the child may have lived with their grandparents for more than a year, which makes their custody request just as valid.

Under California State Law, if a child is placed in foster care by county officials— no matter the county — the social worker and the court must give preference to certain relatives, which includes grandparents. That means, sometimes, children are placed with their grandparents by child welfare agencies.

No matter the reason grandparents are seeking custody of their grandchildren, our San Bernardino County Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb is here to help outline the legal path to achieving custodial success for the guardians who will provide the best home for the children.

What If Grandparents Are Seeking Visitation Rights Instead of Custody?

Under California law, grandparents can ask for visitation rights with their grandchild, under two conditions:

  • The grandparents have a pre-existing relationship and a bond with their grandchild(ren), solidifying that granting visitation would be in the child’s best interests
  • The courts maintain a balance between the child(ren)’s best interests and their parents’ rights to make decisions for them

However, if the child’s parents are still married to each other, the grandparents may not legally petition the court for visitation rights, unless an exception to those laws are met.

They include:

  • A stepparent adopted the grandchild
  • One of the parent’s petitions with the grandparent
  • One parent’s whereabouts are unknown and he or she has been missing for at least one month
  • The child currently lives with a foster family or another family member
  • The parents are living separately

Grandparents who seek custody or visitation rights with their grandchildren typically have the children’s best interests at the forefront of their cause, and we want to help make their vision a reality.

If you have questions about your grandparents’ rights, contact our San Bernardino certified grandparents rights attorney at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb today by calling (909) 889-7111 to discuss your unique circumstances. We are available via phone, text, email, or video conference to talk about your rights remotely, so you can get the answers you need with delay. 

- Can Grandparents Be Awarded Custody of Grandchildren In California?

On March 19, 2020, California Governor, Gavin Newsome, issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which will remain in place until further notice.

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our firm has pivoted with the mandate to keep our staff, clients, and the public safe during this unprecedented health crisis by closing our office to the public and working remotely.

Our San Bernardino law firm remains fully operational during the state’s stay-at-home order, and available to current and new clients Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

As we each do our part to remain safe, our San Bernardino family law attorney is communicating with clients — and reviewing new cases — in each party’s preferred manner, including phone, text, email, or video conferencing via Zoom for ongoing cases and initial consultations.

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, we understand that today’s challenges affect more than our California residents’ ability to go to work. This health crisis is far-reaching, impacting homes, personal lives, and families. We are available to help guide you through the difficulties of family law, even when we cannot meet in person.

Are Your Experiencing Marital and Family Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Our statewide stay-at-home order has changed the way we all work and live, as our non-essential population has been placed in quarantine until we can ensure the safety of the general public going forward.

That means parents are working from home. Schools are closed, forcing children of all ages to learn from home. And even extended families are forging together to keep a watchful eye on each other.

As we traverse this difficult time together, there is a sense of solidarity among our California residents.

At home, however, things may be less than agreeable

Adjusting to the reality that everyone in your home must spend 24 hours a day together to ensure their safety is difficult for anyone.

As time goes on and plans to reopen the economy remain unclear, families are impacted by many troubling factors, including increases in domestic violence and — with fewer ways to hide phone calls, text messages, and emails — reports of infidelity.

Other families are struggling with upholding their child custody agreements while they try to balance each household’s safety while maintaining a relationship with their children.

Other spouses who were on the verge of filing for divorce before the pandemic changed our lives, may believe their options are now limited as we all face the adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our San Bernardino County family law attorney understands how challenging life is right now and that it may be quite some time before we can resume “normal” activity.

However, that does not mean that you cannot seek family law solutions that will allow you to discuss personal difficulties that can bring peace of mind to your current and future circumstances. We are still here for you.

Contact the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb Today to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

If you have questions about custody arrangements, how to pursue or enforce domestic violence orders, or are seeking a divorce during what is already a very difficult time, contact our Certified Family Law Specialist at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb today by calling (909) 889-7111 to discuss your needs in your preferred communication option, which can include phone, text, email, or video conferencing.

We are available to discuss your case remotely, as we keep a watchful eye on the California Department of Public Health COVID-19 updates. Call us now to discuss your case, so you can focus on remaining safe while we create legal solutions for your unique family law needs.

- Certified Family Law Specialist Fully Operating During the COVID-19 Pandemic


A year and a half ago, before I hired Ms. Holcomb, my ex and I tried to handle the divorce ourselves using the assistance of one of those “divorce mill” attorneys (Uncontested Divorce). My understanding is that these specific attorneys don’t side wit… Read more

Mildred Flores

When I called the offices of Joyce Holcomb, I was in a position were I felt as though I was at the end of my rope. My case had been going for over 2 years. I had an attorney previously and she had failed to move my case forward. It seemed to me that… Read more

Stephen P. Taylor
  • Tell Us About Your Case

  • The Law Office of Joyce M. Holcomb, CFLS