Experienced Lawyers Helping Parents and Children in CA
When searching for such a firm, you can turn to Sua Law Group. Our legal team consists of skilled child custody attorneys in Simi Valley, CA who will work tirelessly to help you and your spouse reach an agreement that takes into account your parental rights as well as your child(ren)’s best interests. Should you be unable to reach such an agreement, we have the experience, knowledge, and determination to fiercely advocate on your behalf before a family law judge. Our Los Angeles child custody lawyers will always be focused on helping you reach the best possible result for your family at every turn of the process. We can help whether this issue is part of a pending divorce or has surfaced in a post-divorce situation.
Who Can File for Custody in California?
In California, anyone seeking primary physical custody of a child must file a petition in the court in their county. If the parents are married, then either parent has the legal right to file for custody in California. Unmarried parents and grandparents may also ask for custodial rights. Similar to any family law case, the court will evaluate various factors before making a decision regarding custody arrangements; including what solution is in the best interest of the child, who is closer with the child, and each individual's commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for the child.
Child Custody & Visitation in California
Child custody in broken down into two types which may be shared by both parents or awarded solely to one parent.
- Legal custody. This type of custody includes the legal authority to make decisions about your child, such as regarding health care, education, religious upbringing, and other life decisions.
- Physical custody. This involves with whom the child will reside. When joint physical custody is awarded, the child will be scheduled to spend overnights with each parent, which may be as equal as possible or more with one parent so as to accommodate school or daycare needs.
Sole vs. Joint Custody in California
When deciding on a child custody arrangement in California, it is important to consider both sole and joint custody options. It is up to the parents or guardians of the child to make the decision of which option would be best for their circumstances.
- Sole custody is where one parent or guardian has full legal and physical custody of their child.
- Joint custody requires both parents/guardians to make decisions to care for their shared child. Both parties are responsible for offering financial support and taking on all parenting duties.
How Is Child Custody Decided in California?
In the state of California, family law courts consider the parent-child relationship to be exceedingly important to the wellbeing of children. Child custody is decided based on what is in the best interest of the child. Family law judges favor joint custody arrangements so as to preserve this relationship and will generally award joint custody unless some factor would preclude it. These factors could include a history of domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or criminal activity on the part of a parent.
When determining how to arrange custody in California, the court takes into consideration both parents’ living situation, their mental and physical health, their ability to care for their child, as well as any history of domestic abuse. Of course, it is always ideal for both parents to agree on a custody arrangement outside of court which often proves to be much less contentious and quicker than letting decisions be made by the judge. Ultimately, however, if a formal agreement can not be reached then let our Los Angeles child custody lawyer stand up for your rights and hash out all of the details with the other parent or guardian in order for your wishes for custodial arrangements to be honored. Where custody becomes contested between parents, the courts will make decisions based on what they believe is in the best interests of the child’s welfare.
What Are the Determining Factors for Custody in CA?
Factors that courts will examine in determining the child’s best interests can include:
- The nature of the relationship the child has with each parent
- The stability of the proposed environments
- The amount of time or contact the child has had with each parent
- Whether a parent will be accommodating in fostering the child’s relationship and time spent with the other parent
- Any evidence of parental neglect or abuse
- How custody will affect a child’s schooling, social life, and relationships with siblings or extended family
- Any other factors relevant to the case
Post-Divorce Custody Matters in California
Child custody can arise as an issue in the years following the initial decision. These matters can involve relocations, modifications, and enforcement. A parent may seek to relocate with a child for job purposes, to remarry, or to be closer to primary family members. At some point, the current parenting plan may become unworkable for parents who wish to seek a modification that better fits the needs of children and/or parents. Lastly, if your spouse continually violates the terms of the court’s custody order, you may need to have it enforced by a judge. These issues will all involve returning to court to get the matter resolved and thus legally binding and enforceable. Our Simi Valley child custody attorneys can represent you in all child custody matters.
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