Child custody in California refers to the allocation of decision making authority and parenting. There are several factors and laws that determine the fair division of a child’s time between parents, all predicated on the needs of their children. As you navigate the divorce process, it will be crucial not only to understand how child custody is determined but also to ensure that you have a dedicated LA divorce lawyer at your side. A divorce lawyer will go beyond simply providing you with the information you need to understand child custody arrangements and will advocate for you, your children, and the most advantageous results after a divorce.
The state of California recognizes both legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the legal right to make decisions about your child’s life, such as where the child will go to school, the religion in which the child will be raised, to where the child is allowed to travel, and medical decisions regarding the child’s health. Physical custody is the right to spend time with your child, thereby being responsible for providing for the child’s health, safety, clothing, shelter, food, and other aspects of their well-being.
Both types of child custody are considered joint or sole custody arrangements. A sole custody order means that one parent is solely responsible for the care of his or her child. A joint custody order holds that both parents will be responsible for the care of their child. A common arrangement is one in which both parents have legal decision-making power regarding a child, but only one parent has physical custody. In other situations, parents will share both legal and physical custody, or a parent may be awarded sole physical and legal custody under extenuating circumstances.
Courts in California urge parents to work together to form a parenting plan without the intervention of the court. While establishing such a plan incorporates many complicated factors, especially in a contested divorce, methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation, can be employed to help parties reach a solution.
If the two parties cannot reach an agreement on their own, they must turn to the courts in a child custody hearing. If a court is tasked with making a determination about legal and physical custody of a child, it will do so based on the best interests of the child. Factors the court considers in determining the best interests, as found in California Family Code Section 3011 include:
If you are involved in a child custody determination suit, working with a skilled family law attorney who can advise you regarding your rights and your options is highly recommended. This is especially true if you and the child’s other parent cannot reach an agreement outside of court. As an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney, I have the expertise and commitment that you need to navigate your child custody order and can assist you throughout all stages of the child custody determination process. For your initial consultation, please call me today.
Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman agrees to carry a baby for another couple who is unable to have a baby on their own. Surrogacy is a complex process on its own, but if there is a subsequent divorce involved, determining child custody can be a contentious process. Depending on the type of surrogacy, the terms of the agreement, where are you in the process, and the parties involved, the outcome will vary. It’s crucial that you speak with a Century City divorce lawyer right away to get a clearer picture of your situation and what options are available to you.
When a judge issues child support or spousal support (or both) orders in Century City and surrounding areas of Los Angeles, the parties involved in the order have a legal obligation to follow it. In fact, not following the order and falling behind on payments can have serious consequences.
That being said, spousal support and child support orders can be modified when the situation warrants it, such as during a move or following the loss of a job. The following considers how to modify or terminate such payments, and how an experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer can help. Read more of this post.
Here are three legal terms that you should think about if you are thinking about filing for divorce:
One part of a divorce is the division of property. California is a community property state. All property obtained by either party during a marriage is presumed to be community property and jointly owned 50/50 unless the acquisition of the property was the result of a gift or inheritance. Any property acquired during a marriage that can be traced to separate property is also separate property. All other property, including property that was acquired before marriage or after the date of separation, is separate property. Certain actions and/or agreements Read more of this post.