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The Child Abuse Index (CACI) is a list comprised of those individuals whom an investigator determined that there is a substantiated or inconclusive reason that you were involved in the abuse and/or neglect of a child.


Legal custody defines what a parent can and cannot do as it relates to making decisions for their children. There are two types of legal custody: sole and joint. A parent with sole legal custody is able to make decisions about their child’s health, education, and welfare without consulting the other parent. This is in accordance with California Family Code (Fam. Code. §3006) which also states that joint legal custody requires both parents to share in the decision making responsibilities (Fam. Code §3003).


When a juvenile is no longer in his parent’s custody, he has basically become a ward of the state and is legally a “dependent of the court.” Children who have been determined to be abused, neglected, or abandoned by their legal custodians, usually parents are most likely to become dependents. However, children can also be removed from legal guardians or foster parents. Children with special needs can become dependent if their parents are unable to properly care for them.


Once you have decided your marriage is over, the next step is to decide what to do about it. Most people automatically think divorce is the only option. However, filing for an annulment of your marriage may be feasible and will definitely be less expensive. Before deciding which option is right for you, it is necessary to understand a bit more about both.

Domestic Violence

Most lawsuits are not quickly resolved. It can take months or years to settle a dispute. But you may not have that kind of time if you have filed for divorce. Immediate decisions need to be made pertaining to custody of the children and which parent can use the vehicle, stay in the house, or access bank accounts. Even if you have resolved these issues, you may need financial support from the other spouse. These issues can be quickly addressed with a temporary order from the courts.

Grandparent Rights

Grandparents are important to the overall family dynamic. In fact, many grandparents help with the care of their grandchildren as parents work. For this reason, grandparents may seek visitation or custody of grandchildren when parents separate or divorce. However, grandparent rights are not guaranteed under family law.


The intent of California law is family unification – keeping children with their parents. However, this is not always possible. If a parent is no longer considered fit to raise their child, another individual can be appointed by the court to be the child’s legal guardian. This typically occurs only in extreme situations such as when a parent has a substance abuse issue or is engaged in documented criminal behavior that places the child in harm’s way.

Move Aways

A custodial parent has to get the consent of the other parent to move with the child. Consent is required if the move is to another area in the state or out of state. This issue typically arises when the custodial parent gets a new job or is remarried. If the other parent is unwilling to consent to the move, the custodial parent will need to take the matter to court to request a move away order.


Paternity is proving the identity of a child’s father. Since the mother gives birth to a child, maternity is automatically established under the law. The father is presumed to be the mother’s spouse unless he disputes the claim. In situations where the mother is not married to the father of the child, paternity must be established for the father to be recognized legally as the child’s father. Once paternity is established, your child will have the same rights as children whose parents were married at the time of the child’s birth.

Step Parent Adoption

With the increase in blended families, adoption by stepparents has become the most prevalent type of adoption inAmerica. After the adoption is finalized, the stepparent has the same legal parenting responsibilities as a natural parent. This includes all forms of financial support. From a legal standpoint, the stepparent is now a co-parent although custody remains with their spouse. Stepparent adoption relieves the noncustodial parent of future decision making and financial obligations. However, they are still responsible for any child support or other payments owed to the custodial parent up to the time the adoption became legal.

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