Providing Compassionate Guidance and Trusted Legal Counsel for Families Dealing with Child Custody Matters
Divorce takes a toll on the entire family, especially when there are children involved. As a parent, you want nothing more than to make sure your kids know that they are loved and will be taken care of during this time of transition.
The legal complexities of child custody may seem overwhelming and stressful but Chang Mattern, LLP can help you and your spouse establish a custody arrangement, visitation schedule, and parenting plan that you are comfortable with and that puts your childrens’ needs first. We understand how sensitive and emotionally charged custody matters can be but you can count on us to be a reliable ally and advocate throughout the process.
Call (626) 792-5888 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our child custody attorneys.
How California Courts Determine Custody
If a child custody agreement cannot be reached with your spouse, a family judge will intervene and make decisions they feel are in the best interests of your children. Factors the judge will consider when awarding custody may include:
- child’s preference
- mental and physical condition of each parent
- financial status of each parent
- relationship between child and each parent
- parent’s history of domestic violence, child abuse, or drug/alcohol abuse
Types of Child Custody in California
In California, there are two types of custody that are granted to parents: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the legal responsibility you have to make important decisions related to your child’s upbringing such as where they will attend school, who their primary physician will be, what religion they will practice, which extracurricular activities they will participate in, etc. Joint legal custody would entail consulting with your ex-spouse on these matters.
Physical custody, also known as “residency” refers to your children’s living arrangements and determines how much time they will spend with each parent. In most cases, one parent will be designated as the primary custodial parent and the other parent will be entitled to visitation time. The court will most often give physical custody to the the parent that can offer the children the most stability. The goal is to have the children spend near equal time with each parent.
Creating an Effecting Parenting Plan
You and your partner must submit a parenting plan to the court for approval. This serves as a blueprint for how you will co-parent your children after the divorce. A typical parenting plan will specify:
- custody arrangements including visitation, schedules for holidays, summer vacation, birthdays, etc.
- education plans for each child
- guidelines for medical care
- preferred disciplinary methods
- child support payment details and schedule
- steps on how disagreements will be resolved