The Law Offices Of Joseph Torri
A California Family Law Firm
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Having a skilled child custody attorney on your side can greatly influence the amount of time that you spend with your child and the relationship that you have with your child during his or her minority. An experienced attorney is aware of various California laws that guide courts in deciding which parent should have custody of the child as determined by what is in the best interest of the child.
In California, there are generally two types of custody: sole custody and joint custody. Sole custody occurs when one parent makes all of the important decisions for the child, including decisions regarding religion, education, residence and extracurricular activities. Sole custody may result when the other parent has no rights to see the child or when the other parent has visitation rights. Joint custody occurs when both parents are legally able to make these important decisions and provide for about half of the child’s care. Child custody is often determined during divorce proceedings, but it can also be decided when a child was born out of wedlock or another individual is seeking to gain custody of the child from his or her parent or other guardian. California courts attempt to keep the child with at least one parent when possible. The second tier of preference for child custody is to give custody to the party with whom the child has most recently lived. Some child custody cases can be decided amicably between the parties, while other cases involve parties who simply want to record an already established arrangement in a legally binding document. Contact The Law Offices of Joseph Torri for legal advice regarding establishing or disputing custody arrangements.
For parties that do not agree on custody arrangements, a legal dispute is likely to ensue. California courts base their designation of child custody on what is in the best interest of the child. Under the California Family Code § 3021, the factors that are considered in determining what is in the child’s best interest include:
Once a party attains sole custody of a child, the court will enforce the custody arrangement against the other party. The other party may be able to attempt to become the sole custodial party if he or she can demonstrate that there has been a material change of circumstances that would justify a change in the custody arrangements. The parties may also make this agreement together and can request that the court modify the existing custody order.
Child custody disputes often concern complicated legal issues that can take months to sort out. An experienced child custody attorney can assist you with your case.