Protect Your Relationship With Your Kids
Southern California Child Custody Lawyers
Protecting the Interests of You & Your Children
Child custody is one of the tougher and altogether more emotional aspects of a divorce. At Holstrom, Block & Parke, A Professional Law Corporation, our top priority is to encourage our clients to put their children first as divorce can have a serious and potentially lifelong impact on them.
Unfortunately, co-parents often have differing views on the definition of “best interests,” which is typically what leads to highly contested legal proceedings. This is where our experienced family law attorneys can help. We seek to pursue solutions that put your child’s needs first, without compromising your rights as a parent.
Understanding Child Custody Laws in California
Whenever children are involved in a divorce, custody must be established to protect their best interests. Many co-parents will seek to find an agreement through mediation, which can seriously help to reduce the ugliness of a custody battle. If you are unable to reach an agreement through mediation, the case will be heard by a family law judge.
In every case, legal and physical custody must both be determined:
- Legal custody deals with each parent’s authority to make decisions about the child’s care and upbringing, including education, religion, medical care, and more.
- Physical custody deals with where the child will live, how many overnights each parent will have, and other issues. In some cases, the terms of the custody agreement can impact the final child support obligations.
Should your case be brought before a judge, it is important to understand what factors can influence his or her decision. Ultimately, the number one concern of the judge will be the child’s best interests.
Factors that will be considered include the following:
- The health and safety of the child – Courts must consider elements that can impact a child’s well being, including history of domestic violence, criminal behavior, and drug or alcohol abuse.
- The child’s wishes – In the case of older children who are found to be mature enough to make such a decision, the court must consider a child’s preferences.
- Willingness to co-parent – The court wants the parents to be able to work together and foster healthy relationships. A parent’s likeliness to encourage visits and communication between the child and the other parent will be taken into consideration.
- The stability of the child’s status quo – California courts will favor the continuity of a child’s established routine, lifestyle, and relationships; they will not favor major disruptions to it. For example, if one parent plans on moving a significant distance away from the current family home, this will greatly influence a judge’s determination of custody.
Get the Legal Support You Need
Our Southern California child support lawyers are dedicated to helping families with children navigate the emotionally-charged process of determining child custody. With nine Certified Family Law Specialists and a knowledgeable and diverse team of associate attorneys, you can find reliable advocacy at Holstrom, Block & Parke, A Professional Law Corporation.
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