When your relationship with your child is at stake, you need the best child custody attorney.
The prospect of being denied contact with your child as the result of a divorce proceeding or paternity dispute is heart-wrenching for any parent. At the Law Office of Michael L. Fell, we are here to make sure this does not happen. We will explain your rights under the law and do everything in our power to secure fair custody agreements that represent your child’s best interests.
Who Decides What’s Best for the Child?
If your divorce or paternity case is uncontested, you can make your own custody arrangements and then simply submit them to a judge to make them enforceable. Unfortunately, in many cases the involved parties—which could include parents, grandparents, stepparents, and other individuals with strong emotional bonds to the child in question—cannot reach an agreement on their own. In this case, a judge will have to decide what is best for the child. When making this decision, the judge will consider a variety of factors including:
- Mental and physical health of the parents, as well as their moral fitness
- How long the child has lived in an environment that is stable and whether that environment can be continued
- The ability of each of the parents to provide a routine of stability for the child
- Child’s preferences, if the court determines that the child is able to make the decision
- The ability of each of the parents to meet the needs of the child developmentally
- Prior situations or convictions related to domestic violence involving one or both parents
As your child custody attorney, we can make sure the judge has all the evidence they need to get a clear picture of what is going on in your family and to arrive at a fair decision in your case. For example, if you are facing false allegations we can help you fight back. Or, if you have concerns for the well-being and safety your child, we can help you address this with the court as well. We have many years of experience working with professionals like social workers and child psychologists and we can involve them in building your case as necessary.
Understanding Custody & Visitation Options
If you plan to reach your own child custody and visitation agreements outside of court, it is very important to understand the different types of custody and visitation described under California law:
Legal Custody: In most situations, parents will share joint legal custody. This means that they each have the right to make legal decisions for the child, such as choosing a school or making medical decisions. You can share legal custody even if you do not share physical custody.
Physical Custody: Physical custody determines where the child will actually spend his/her time. Parents can have joint physical custody even if they do not have a perfect 50-50 childcare split. The parents can come up with an arrangement that works with their schedules and is in the best interest of the children.
Uncontested Custody: In uncontested cases, the parties are able to come up with a visitation agreement that is convenient for them.
Contested Custody Disputes: If you don’t feel confident you and the other parent can agree on a fair visitation schedule, you can pursue an action to obtain your desired custody agreement.
Supervised Visitation: Having visitation supervised by a custodial parent, another adult, or a social worker can help provide protection to the child while still allowing them to have contact with a non-custodial parent.
As your child custody attorney, we can make sure you are fully informed about these options. We can advise you of the best strategy to pursue given the facts of your particular case, and then work hard to help you achieve your goals.
Need Help Modifying or Enforcing a Child Custody Order?
If your co-parent is not abiding by the requirements of your child custody or visitation order, or if changing circumstances have made the orders inconsistent with the child’s best interests, we can help. We understand the enforcement and modification processes in detail and we can guide you through them as quickly and easily as possible.
Call Now to Learn More
If you are in the midst of a custody battle, the Law Office of Michael L. Fell is here for you. Our family law attorney, Michelle L. Tran, has over 200 hours of training that is specific to family law, and she understands all the legal nuances that can be involved in child custody battles. She will address your concerns with compassion and effectiveness. Call us at (949) 585-9055 now for a free consultation with Attorney Tran.