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San Diego Child Custody Lawyer

In a California divorce, there are two types of custody to be decided: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody is defined by which parent is making the primary decisions regarding the child’s health and welfare. Physical custody is where and with whom the children reside.

California statues promote that children have equal relations with both parents. Even is one parent has primary custody (as defined by the child staying with that parent over 50% of the time) the judge will allow the non-custodial parent to have adequate visitation. California’s laws tend to prefer joint physical custody, so that the children have equal time with each parent. Sole physical custody is unusually only ordered in the most specific of circumstances.

There are many benefits to negotiating a parenting arrangement. The reason being that you know what is best for your child and your individual schedules. Because of this, most judges usually prefer that the parents decide on their own parenting agreement and will not interfere unless there is are problems between the parties. In cases where the parents cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements, the court will order custody and a visitation and holiday schedule.

If for any reason, after a divorce, there needs to be a change to custody, the parent can petition the court for a change, but the change will only be ordered if it is in the “best interest of the children.”

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San Diego Child Custody Overview

In a California divorce, there are two types of custody to be decided: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody is defined by which parent is making the primary decisions regarding the child’s health and welfare. Physical custody is where and with whom the children reside.

California statues promote that children have equal relations with both parents. Even is one parent has primary custody (as defined by the child staying with that parent over 50% of the time) the judge will allow the non-custodial parent to have adequate visitation. California’s laws tend to prefer joint physical custody, so that the children have equal time with each parent. Sole physical custody is usually only ordered in the most specific of circumstances.

There are many benefits to negotiating a parenting arrangement. The reason is that that you know what is best for your child and your individual schedules. Because of this, most judges usually prefer that the parents decide on their own parenting agreement and will not interfere unless there are problems between the parties. In cases where the parents cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements, the court will order custody and a visitation and holiday schedule.

If for any reason, after a divorce, there needs to be a change to custody, the parent can petition the court for a change, but the change will only be ordered if it is in the “best interest of the children.”

Child Custody & Visitation

Child custody and visitation issues oftentimes become a point of contention between divorcing parents. The California courts will determine child custody and visitation based upon the best interests of the child and typically consider the following points;

  • What is the level of conflict between the divorcing couple and who is their an initiator of the conflict?
  • Which parent is more likely to supports a meaningful relationship between the non custodial parent and the children?
  • What is the nature of the relationship of the children with the parents?
  • What is the level of cooperation between the parents in order to meet the needs of the child?

Child Custody Tips

  • Be involved in your child’s life. Courts want to see that you are part of the child’s life; school, sports, doctor visits, etc. If you are not involved in your child’s life it will be tough to obtain custody.
  • Do not you insult your ex-spouse? When determining custody, a court will consider whether a parent promotes or prevents the other parent’s relationship with the children.
  • Be flexible with visitation. Try to accommodate the other parent if they would like to switch a day or weekend. Courts like parents who foster cooperation.
  • Courts generally are very opposed to the children knowing the details of your divorce issues. Do not explain to your children the legal issues and stick to simply explanations of the relationship changes between you and your ex spouse
  • Where does the child want to live? This may be a factor with the court, but do not coach the child one way or another.
  • Are you concerned with the other parent receiving custody? Is there alcohol, drugs, violence, or multiple romantic relationships involved? Be prepared to provide evidence and keep track of events that the court should know.

Helping Fight for Custody Modifications

One of the most difficult issues that’s resolved during any California divorce case is that which involves child custody if there were children of the marriage. This decision can lead to emotional devastation for the parent who is not awarded primary custody, and unfortunately many parents who are not awarded custody think that there is nothing that can be done and that this decision is permanent.

Simply put, this is not an accurate belief. Parents who are concerned about their children and who want to fight for their rights and for the interests of those children should seek the immediate help of experienced San Diego child custody lawyers. Below is a brief introduction to this issue.

The Standards for California Child Custody Modification

As is the case with just about every issue that can arise in California family law, the court will use legal standards to make decisions regarding the modification of child custody. One standard that’s used is the same as what was used to make the original custody decision – the best interests of the child. In addition, if a parent makes a motion to modify a child custody order, the moving parent must show the court that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.

What Constitutes a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

There are many different examples that could lead a court to find that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. Perhaps the most common basis for such a motion is that the custodial parent is not serving the child’s best interests. Specifically, this can mean that the custodial parent is not acting in a responsible manner, is not making sure that the child’s educational, nutritional, medical or social needs and development are being met and that the child needs to live with the other parent to reverse this trend.

In addition, a substantial change in circumstances can involve the custodial parent wanting to move away from the non-custodial parent, a change in the work schedule or occupation of one of the parents, a change in the child’s preference or some other life change that could alter the original child custody decision that was made.

Call For A Consultation With Our Family Law Attorneys

If you are facing issues that involve child custody, you likely have rights that are spelled out in the California statutes. Rather than attempt to analyze these issues yourself and present them to the court, turn to our San Diego child custody lawyers. Schedule a consultation by calling us at 858-974-4900, or contact us online. Credit cards are accepted.

Contact us today for a free consultation at (858) 974-4900!

 

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