Riverside Child Custody Lawyer


Trust a Custody Attorney with Your Best Interests in Mind

At the  Edgar & Dow, we make the best interests of children our top priority. Our child custody attorneys in Riverside, CA, are experienced in representing families looking to establish safe and fair child custody. We fight to ensure that the children involved are provided with a safe environment and that parents are able to maintain a healthy relationship with their children. Our goal is to help both parents be a part of the decision-making process when it comes to their child, but we are always aware that some family situations are not so simple.

Since our firm was founded, our Riverside child custody attorneys have capably handled numerous child custody cases. Set up your free case evaluation – call our firm at (888) 251-9618!

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Types of Child Custody in Riverside County

Ideally, our law firm tries to make sure that both parents play an important role in their child’s development. However, we understand that, in some cases, this is simply not possible. The best interest of the child is considered when determining legal custody and physical custody—which is why we use the same approach in our legal strategies.

  • Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make decisions about their child’s well-being, such as education and medical care. If a family court judge is to grant any measure of legal custody to a child’s parent, they must verify that the parent is fit to handle their parental responsibilities and poses no threat to the child’s health or safety. Parents with severe disabilities, mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, and criminal histories may lose their rights to legal custody. In addition, some parents may only qualify for limited supervised visitation with their children.
  • Physical custody refers to where the child or children will live; usually, one parent has custody, and the other has visitation rights. It is also possible, if both parents live close enough to each other, for the children to spend equal amounts of time with each parent on an alternating basis. As long as doing so would not disrupt the children’s school schedules and other needs, the judge is likely to grant this arrangement so the children can maintain close contact with their parents.

There are two types of legal custody:

  • Joint legal custody: Receiving joint legal custody affirms the right of both parents to share in the responsibility of making decisions for the child/children. If one parent violates this order and makes any significant decision without consulting the other parent and securing their approval first, they can face severe consequences.
  • Sole legal custody: This custody affirms the right of one parent to make all the major decisions for the child/children. Sole legal custody means the other parent was deemed unfit or that it was in the child’s best interest for one parent to have sole custody. This is considered to be rare.

Custody can be adapted to meet the needs of the family. For example, a parent may share legal custody, but not physical custody. In addition, a parent with sole legal custody may not have sole physical custody.

Physical custody may be determined by the following:

  • Living arrangements. A custodial parent must be able to provide a safe and healthy living space for their child. When determining custody in California, the court may appoint an investigator to inspect the parents’ respective living spaces before their custody proceedings.
  • Work background. A parent must prove they can handle their child’s needs, including providing income and covering basic living expenses. Therefore, parents must be prepared to show their work history or that they are otherwise capable of handling their child’s economic needs.
  • Abuse or history of domestic violence. Any parent with a criminal record of any type of domestic violence or child abuse will have difficulty convincing a Riverside family court judge they deserve custody. In addition, parents who have committed past domestic violence offenses may not only lose any right to seek custody but also face restraining orders and child support obligations.
  • Work schedules. A parent seeking custody must prove they are available to handle their child’s needs and supervise them. For example, they may need to maintain a work schedule that aligns with their child’s school schedule.

All these factors and more may be considered when determining physical custody; however, the child’s best interests will always be primarily considered. The court has a legal duty to seek whatever custody arrangement would benefit the child most. This typically requires a thorough and multifaceted investigation of the child’s relationships with each of their parents, their work histories and other records, and many other vital considerations.

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Changing a Custody Order in California

Child custody determinations can be disempowering for many parents. The thought of losing time with your child may be unbearable, and the knowledge that your case’s outcome rests in a judge’s hands can make the situation even more difficult. You may not have direct control over the outcome of your custody determination, but you have the right to request reasonable and necessary changes to it in the future should your circumstances change.

The family courts of California recognize that life can present unpredictable challenges, some of which influence standing custody and support orders. For example, if you have full custody of your children but suffer a catastrophic injury that prevents you from handling their needs as you did previously, you may need to seek a change to your custody order to reflect this event. Other reasons parents may request modifications to their custody and support orders include medical emergencies, job loss, significant changes in income, and other unexpected problems.

The modification process is fairly straightforward. If your request is reasonable and necessary, it shouldn’t be too difficult to secure the changes you need with the help of an experienced Riverside child custody attorney. In addition, if you need to seek any change to your custody order, whether it is to increase or decrease your level of custody or your child support obligation, a Riverside child custody lawyer can help you develop compelling arguments and meet the procedural requirements of your case as efficiently as possible.

Riverside Child Custody Lawyer FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Riverside Child Custody Attorney?

Most family law attorneys throughout California bill their clients using an hourly rate. The more time an attorney spends working on a case, the more they charge the client under this system. It’s also possible for a family lawyer to offer flat fee billing for specific family law services. Always ensure you firmly understand a potential attorney’s billing policies before agreeing to hire them.

Can You Get a Court-Appointed Attorney for Child Custody in California?

The family court can appoint an attorney to represent a minor child if necessary, but the court will not provide a parent with legal counsel if they cannot afford to hire an attorney. Every American is guaranteed the right to legal counsel in criminal court, but the family court is under no obligation to provide legal representation to parents in custody disputes.

How Does California Decide Child Support?

Child support is determined based on the parental rights and responsibilities of each of a child’s parents. If one parent has greater physical custody than the other, they inherently incur greater living expenses by having their child with them most of the time. The other parent in this situation would likely owe them child support each month. The amount paid in child support depends on what the court determines necessary to meet a child’s basic living needs.

What Happens If a Parent Violates a Custody Order?

Any willful violation of a lawful custody order can have severe consequences. The parent could face contempt of court, and a judge could potentially strip them of their custody or visitation rights in response to their actions. They may also be liable for the other parents’ legal fees, accounting for the cost of bringing the custody violation to the court’s attention. Therefore, it is always best to adhere to the terms of your custody order as closely as possible.

Is It Worth Hiring a Riverside, CA Child Custody Attorney?

You may have concerns about the potential cost of hiring legal counsel for your upcoming custody determination, but it is always best to have legal representation you can trust for this type of case. The right attorney can help you make a compelling case for custody and significantly improve your chances of reaching the results you hope to see.

Our Riverside Child Custody Attorneys Can Provide Caring Legal Guidance

Whether determining child custody is simple or complicated, our experienced child custody lawyers in Riverside, CA, can capably guide you through the process. We view each and every case on an individual basis and provide legal solutions that are tailor-fit to your family’s needs and circumstances. In addition, we resolve cases quickly and efficiently, saving you stress, time, and money.

Discuss your child custody case with an experienced child custody attorney in Riverside, CA. Call (888) 251-9618 for a free case evaluation!

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Why Trust Our Firm With Your Case?

  • Tailored Approach

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  • Low-Risk & Low-Stress

    We don’t drag our cases out, which saves you time, stress, and money.

  • Honesty & Integrity

    We deliver the straightforward, honest counsel you really need.

  • Results-Driven Counsel

    Our priority is to help you get the results your family deserves.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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