Depending on the judge, you should probably keep issues of child support separate from issues of custody and visitation, unless you believe that the reason dad is requesting more custodial time is to reduce his child support obligation. Ideally, you should hire an experienced family law attorney who can represent you at the hearing. If that is not possible, I suggest that you begin educating yourself on the factors that the court will consider relevant on a custody and visitation request. Remember to register for the PACT class, and attend before your Conciliation Court date. I am including links below which I hope prove helpful. Good luck to you.
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As you stated child support and visitation are separate. In response to the OSC re Modification you set forth the facts of the father's non-involvement in the child's life, what he has done to traumatize your child and alienated himself. You want Dad to be part of the child's life but want to make sure he has changed and has all of the right tools now like parenting classes, anger management, ongoing counseling and therapy. Also you will need Dad to pay for conjoin therapy for the child, Dad and you so he can be transitioned back in slowly into the child's life. A step up visitation schedule based upon mile markers would be appropriate. If he is behind on the child support you could file a Contempt proceedings. Including the a statement about how Dad has been delinquent on his support could be linked to his prior failures to help the child with the child's activities, etc.
Answering this question is not an agreement to represent the recipient or others. This answer is an opinion based upon the limited facts supplied and further research and analysis is required to render a full legal opinion. This opinion is that of the Law Offices of Dennis P. Wilson and is only premised upon California law and is not meant to be utilized in any other jurisdiction.
I agree with Ms. Norton. If you can't afford an attorney, educate yourself on the law, and be prepared to ask and answer questions. Also, don't automatically assume you can't afford an attorney. Many people assume they can't afford a Los Angeles County Child Custody Attorney. Make some phone calls. Attorneys generally don't represent themselves on their own cases. I see people without attorneys in court generally not get the full attention from the judge they deserve. If you truly can't afford an attorney, make sure the judge listens to you. You have a right to speak.
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