Child Custody Lawyers for Fathers Specializing in Complex Cases
Types of Child Custody
One of the most contested and emotionally charged issues in the area of family law is child custody and visitation. For most people there are few things, if any, as important to their happiness and well being as the happiness and well being of their children. Further, the time that we get to spend with our children is already limited. Our attorneys are experienced in handling negotiated and litigated child custody disputes. Not all custody determinations are contentious, but since divorces are already emotional, custody can also be a heated topic.
Our attorneys can work with you to negotiate a custody and visitation plan, which is agreeable to all parties involved. However, if custody determinations become contentious, you need an experienced family law attorney in your corner, who will fight to make sure that you and your children’s interests are protected. The following information may be helpful for you to understand the basics of how child custody and visitation works in California.
Child Custody and Relocation
Legal Custody v. Physical Custody Legal custody is the responsibility for making decisions regarding a child’s health, healthcare, education and welfare. For instances, decisions such as which doctor will treat the children, and what schools the children attend. In California, parents may be given joint legal custody or solo legal custody. Joint legal custody means that the parents share responsibility for making such decisions. Solo legal custody means that one parent has the right to make those decisions on behalf of the children. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the children actually live. As with legal custody, physical custody can be joint or solo. Joint physical custody means that the children spend a portion of their time with each parent. Solo physical custody mans that the children live with only one parent. Oftentimes when one parent is given solo physical custody, the other parent has visitation rights; however, this is not always the case. Legal custody and physical custody are distinct issues legally. Therefore, custody arrangements can vary. The child support payments made by either parent will also reflect the custody agreement.
How Custody is Determined Custody can be determined through negotiation, litigation, or temporarily through a protective order. However, the way that a California family court determines custody comes down to the “Best Interests of the Child.” The court will look to the following factors to determine what is in the best interests of a child:
- The health, safety and welfare of the child
- History of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent
- The nature and amount of contact with both parents
- The child’s ties to school, home, and community
- The ability for the parents to care for the child
- The age and health of the child
Custody and Visitation Modifications Circumstances in life are constantly changing. This is especially true in the years following a divorce proceeding. Sometimes the parent whose home provided the best environment for the children at the time of the divorce, no longer serves the child’s interests best. Courts are willing to modify child custody and visitation orders upon proof of certain changed circumstances.
When parents are separated, they have to deal with the issue of child custody and visitation rights. Since both parents are attached to their child, or children, the issue of custody is a very sensitive topic, and hiring a family lawyer in LA is basically a requirement. An attorney will be well-versed in custody and visitation issues, minimizing your anxiety about losing custody of your child.
There are different kinds of outcomes of child custody cases, including:
- Physical custody: If a judge grants you physical custody, the child will live with you and you will be responsible for their daily needs. It’s possible for both parents to be awarded joint physical custody, which means that the child will spend significant amounts of time with both of your separately.
- Legal custody: Legal custody gives you control of the child’s upbringing, like their schooling, religious activities, health care, and so forth. Like physical custody, it’s possible to share legal custody with your ex, which means you must consult each other before making any major life decisions concerning your child.
- Joint custody: If the court has awarded joint custody, then you and your ex will need to sit down and work out arrangements that account for housing, paying for the child’s needs, and your respective schedules. The court will impose an arrangement if you and your ex cannot agree on these things, the court will start making arrangements for you.
- Sole custody: Sole custody is given in extreme cases where the other parent is unable to be trusted with the child’s safety and upbringing.
As you move through the custody process, you’ll likely have plenty of questions, such as:
- Do custody hearings favor mothers over fathers?
- How is custody handled with same-sex parents?
- Can a Parent Moving Out Hurt Their Chances of Gaining Custody?
Our lawyers for getting sole custody understand that most parents suffer extreme anxiety when they think about losing custody of their child. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that you can review before coming into your hearing.
Child Visitation FAQ
Once the parent takes over custody of the child, the judge will determine the other parent's visitation rights. Visitation rights can vary in frequency and whether or not they are monitored visits, where a third party keeps an eye on the parent and their child when they are together. If you have any questions about Los Angeles visitation rights, you may be able to find your answer on our FAQ here.