Whether you are divorcing your spouse with whom you share children or have a child with someone you are not in a relationship with, child custody is a matter that must be resolved. Creating a parenting plan that puts the interests of the child first ensures their well-being, regardless of your relationship with the other parent. Unfortunately, child custody is a complex area of family law that frequently requires significant experience to navigate correctly.
Deciding on a parenting plan for your San Bernardino, CA children can be an emotionally challenging time. It becomes even more difficult when you attempt to learn all the relevant court proceedings and documents to ensure your children have the most beneficial outcome. The Edgar & Dow has over a decade of experience in California family law, and we are ready to support you through your child custody case. Our focus is family law, meaning that our knowledge is deep, and we can apply that knowledge to finding solutions that quickly resolve your case.
Child custody refers to the control, care, and financial support of minor children. California Family Code § 3020 states that the court’s primary concern when deciding custody is the child’s welfare, safety, and health. The family code also states that it is public policy for the children to have frequent and continuing access to both parents in the event of a separation, unless this arrangement is found to not be in the child’s interests. Because the court is always guided by what is most beneficial for the child, many factors will be considered when determining child custody:
In other words, the court will use any available information to create a custody plan that is in the child’s interests. It is important that you create a case that shows why your preferred custody arrangement is the most favorable for the child. Effectively building your case can help the proceedings move faster, decreasing uncertainty and confusion for you and your child.
There are two main types of child custody that will make up your parenting plan:
It is generally held that children benefit from having parents who share joint physical custody. There are two main types of visitation schedules:
Creating a custody plan can be difficult, especially if the parents disagree on what course of action is in the child’s interest. These differences in opinions can cause severe issues in a child custody case. Common problems that arise during custody cases include:
For most issues that stem from the other parent violating the child custody order and refusing you access to your child, there can be legal ramifications if you can prove their actions. Working with a skilled family law attorney can help you ensure your custody order is followed, meaning that you are able to maintain a close relationship with your child.
A: If it is not in the child’s interest to spend time with one of their parents, the court can certainly deny visitation rights to that parent. This often occurs when that parent poses a safety risk to their child. A potential alternative to no visitation is supervised visitation, where the parent can spend time with the child, but it will be monitored by a trusted family member approved by the court or a professional supervisor.
A: California courts do not consider a parent’s gender or gender identity when determining child custody. Whenever possible, courts favor joint custody plans because access to both parents is considered important. Unless there is reason to believe joint custody is not beneficial for the child, joint custody is often awarded to fathers.
A: It is possible for a child to give input toward their custody agreement. This cut-off is generally around 14 years old, but the court will consider the child’s age and maturity level when determining if their opinion can be contributed. If a child was too young when the custody order was created, a modification can be requested once they reach an age and maturity level where they can make that choice.
A: In many instances, withholding the child from the other parent is considered contempt of court because they have broken the child support agreement. There are, however, circumstances where you can deny visitation. These circumstances include drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, legitimate fear of abduction, and the child’s refusal if they are old enough to make that choice.
Few things are as important as the well-being and safety of your child. The Edgar & Dow can help you with your child custody case, helping you find an outcome that is in the interests of the child. Contact our offices today to discuss your case.
We know every case is unique and always provide personalized counsel.
We don’t drag our cases out, which saves you time, stress, and money.
We deliver the straightforward, honest counsel you really need.
Our priority is to help you get the results your family deserves.