Are you a parent who is fighting for custody of your children? A custody battle can be filled with emotion from both sides and can sometimes spill over into the lives of the children who are caught in the middle. To ensure a smooth custody settlement, it is important that you contact a Pasadena divorce attorney who is familiar with all laws governing child custody in the state of California.
There are various different forms of custody that could be awarded to you and the process of securing the best one for your needs can be tricky. Are you the fit parent? Do you have a higher income? Does your home provide a more stable environment for raising children? Are you the mother or paternal father? All of these questions will determine the outcome of your child custody case.
How is Child Custody Determined in California?
The days where custody was simply awarded to the mother based on her gender role are long gone. Today fathers have the same legal rights to custody and visitation that mothers do and the court is not allowed to show preference to one over the other. The issue of child custody is not one that is taken lightly by the court- they will take time to consider all the factors in order to rule in the child's best interest. When determining whether or not to award joint custody or sole custody, the court will take the following into consideration:
If both parents have been actively involved in raising the child
How much time each parent has to spend with the child
The pros and cons of each custody arrangement
How far the two-parent residences are from each other
The adjustments that the child will have to make at school and at home
The child's preference (if they are old enough to have one)
The mental and physical health of each parent
The child's relationship with each parent
Whether there is any history of domestic violence, alcoholism, or drug abuse
Ultimately California family courts prefer to award joint custody whenever possible so that the child can continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. If you and your former spouse are able to agree on a custody arrangement, then this issue can be resolved with minimal court involvement. However, if you and the other parent are not able to agree on the issue of custody, then it will be up to the court to decide.
Types of Custody: Joint Custody, Legal Custody and Physical Custody
A judge may grant one or both parents different forms of custody for their children. Each form of custody has particular rules and regulations involved with it and denying or violating any of the terms can lead to consequences.
This form of child custody is an arrangement between both parents that allows for each parent to spend equal amounts of time with the child. If both parents are available in equal amounts of time, this could be a very positive experience for the child. However, because most parents are not available to equally split the time with a child, the more common "shared" custody arrangements are used.
This is a form of custody that allows the non-custodial parent to make important decisions regarding the child's life and upbringing. A non-custodial parent granted legal custody has the right to influence education, religion and medical care. These responsibilities of legal custody are usually divided equally between both parents, even when one parent does not spend a lot of time face-to-face with the child.
Physical custody is when a child lives solely with one parent. This custody is most often granted to mothers, but fathers who are deemed as the "fit" parent may be granted physical custody of the child as well. A non-custodial parent may be allowed to visit the child within particular time frames and must apply to all regulations that the court may appoint.
Helping Families for Over 30 Years — Pasadena Divorce Lawyer
Looking for an attorney for a child custody case in Pasadena? If you are looking for legal assistance with a custody battle, maintaining custody or being granted visitation rights, it is important you contact an attorney today. With matters involving child custody, the future of your child is on the line.
We want to help you keep your children close and we will do whatever it takes to help you reach a favorable outcome in your child custody case. The Law Office of Fritzie Galliani, APC are experienced in family law and will work hard to maintain your parental rights.
Contact a Pasadena child custody lawyer today by calling (626) 314-6738!