In any family conflict with children involved, the top priority is to ensure that those children have safe, stable homes and the best possible support order. Whether you are facing divorce or are concerned about your child’s welfare due to a problem after or outside of divorce, sound legal guidance by the best child custody attorney in Ventura County, CA is essential.
At Hartley Lamas Et Al, you will work on a personal level with the best child custody lawyer in all of California dedicated to achieving top achievable outcomes for children and asserting your rights as a loving father or mother. You will have devoted, effective analysts and negotiators on your side – as well as dynamic trial litigators should your case demand a battle to the finish.
Promoting Your Child’s Well-Being with Our California Child Custody Lawyer
Serving the best interest of the child will be the court’s overriding objective in approving any settlement or deciding a disputed custody and visitation matter. Parents whose relationships have broken down often cannot agree on what that means, leading to conflict and potentially lasting trauma for everyone involved. Our attorneys at Hartley Lamas Et Al and our professional support team will focus on helping you:
- Cope with the tremendous stress and worry you may be feeling, in order to maintain an objective view of your children’s needs
- Understand the best and worst possible results given the specific facts of your case, before committing to litigation
- Set practical, achievable goals for your child custody and parenting time arrangements, based on an accurate understanding of California law and how the court may rule on your case
- Bring forth all evidence vital to obtaining the just, positive outcomes your children deserve, including critical information regarding physical or emotional abuse, children’s special needs and each parent’s ability to meet those needs
- Advocating skillfully for fair and equitable child support and spousal support orders
How Is Child Custody Determined In California?
According to California law, the best interest of the child is the primary consideration in a child custody case. Though the judges can grant custody to either parent, California courts begin custody evaluation by presuming that both parents are equally entitled to the custody of the child. According to California Family Code sections 3010-3011, the mother of an unemancipated minor child and the father, if presumed to be the father under Section 7611, are equally entitled to the custody of the child. Or in the case where one parent is dead, is unable or refuses to take custody, or has abandoned the child, the other parent is entitled to custody of the child.
Now for determining the best interest of the child the court considers the following factors:
- The health, safety, and welfare of the child
- Any history of abuse by one parent or any other person seeking custody against the child or the other parent
- The nature and amount of contact with both parents
- The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by either parent
In some cases, the court may even take the child’s wish into consideration, provided that the child is old enough to express a preference.
How Is Child Support Determined In California?
If you are splitting up with your child or children’s parent you must be thinking about who will be paying child support and who will be at the receiving end. Like all states, California has a guideline to determine child support. In California, child support is established using a particular formula and is based on many factors including:
- The income of each parent
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child
- Potential tax deductions
- Level of need
- Support of child or children from other relationships
Types of Child Custody
The state of California divides child custody into two main categories, legal custody and physical custody.
Having legal custody of a child means that you are responsible for making important decisions in a child’s life. For instance, which school they would go to, what religious institution would they follow, who would be their doctor, etc. This type of custody is further divided into joint and sole custody.
- As the name implies, when joint legal custody is awarded to parents, they must make mutual decisions regarding a child’s important matters (education, healthcare and overall welfare).
- Sole legal custody is when one parent has the full legal responsibility to make important decisions in a child’s life without the interference of the other parent.
Having physical custody of a child allows parents to have the child reside with them. This involves the physical care and supervision of the child. Courts may grant physical custody solely to one parent or even allow both parents to share the physical custody of the child.
- Joint physical custody allows both parents to spend shared residential time with the child or children. In this type of custody, parents make arrangements to spend substantial but not necessarily equal time with the child.
- In sole physical custody, one parent is granted the sole residential or physical custody of the child. While the noncustodial parent may be granted visitation rights if the court deems fit.
Finding a Ventura Child Custody Attorney
Do you need a skilled child support attorney in California? Or divorce or paternity representation elsewhere in Ventura or Santa Barbara County is what you are looking for? Our Southern California law firm is a widely respected resource for advocacy in the best interests of children, mothers and fathers. Our experience extends across the spectrum of psychologically complex disputes, fathers’ rights, cases involving children with disabilities, financially complex cases and instances of one parent hiding assets or income.
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4
We are highly responsive and dedicated to representing our clients with the utmost integrity. To discuss your child custody or parenting time concerns in an initial consultation, contact our California child support lawyer today.