Child Custody Attorneys for Mothers in California

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Child Custody and Visitation

Mother embracing two sons | Female Child Custody Attorneys for Women in California | Her LawyerThe parents’ agreement to make decisions on behalf of a child is often the most stressful aspect of a divorce. It is at this stage of the divorce process where child custody and visitation terms must be resolved. Each parent may feel they know what is best for their child, and negotiating custody terms does not come without emotional turmoil. To help extinguish such turmoil, many seek and request representation from a lawyer of the same sex. At your request and service, one of Her Lawyer’s child custody attorneys for mothers can provide legal experience and knowledge. Your affordable child custody attorney will fight to ensure that the best interests of you and your child are protected.

Our child custody attorneys protect mothers’ custody rights throughout the State of California in:

Determining Child Custody in California

A number of factors must be taken into account when determining child custody, including but not limited to:

  • The child’s best interest
  • What the child wants (if the child is over the age of 12)
  • A history of domestic disputes, including violence and abuse (physical or psychological)
  • The parents’ history of substance abuse
  • The parents’ emotional and mental soundness

When determining child custody, California law ultimately protects the child’s “best interest”. If one parent has a history of mental instability or abuse, the child will likely not be in that parent’s custody. Evidence of domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, can be used to protect the child’s best interest. The child’s desires also play a vital role in determining child custody and visitation. If a child is over the age of 12, he or she has the legal ability to state which parent he or she would prefer to live with. This statement will be taken into consideration by the courts when ordering child custody and visitation.

Children may enjoy time with both parents. However, custody is separated into two categories: legal and physical. Legal custody includes making decisions on the child’s behalf, while physical custody may only entail physically caring for the child.

Physical Custody

Parents may hold joint, primary, or sole physical child custody.

Joint physical custody ensures both parents have relatively equal time with their children. Although splitting a child’s time exactly in half would be ideal under physical custody, it is not always realistic. In reality, the child will spend more time with one parent. In the eyes of the law, this parent is designated as the primary custodial parent.

Sole Physical Custody

Sole physical custody mandates that the child lives with one parent and rarely see the other parent. The amount of time the child spends outside of sole custody is subject to legal authority. Although emotionally difficult, this can be your child’s best option.

Primary Physical Custody

Primary physical custody, on the other hand, means that the child primarily lives with one parent, and visits the other parent. Parents with primary physical custody tend to see their children more than those with sole physical custody.

However, parents with physical custody may not necessarily be allowed to make certain decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions are left to parents with legal custody. If you’re a single mother looking to protect your custody rights, click here.

Legal Custody

Regarding legal custody, divorcing California couples may seek joint or sole custody. While joint legal custody requires both parent’s hold rights and obligations in determining significant choices on a child’s behalf, sole custody allows only one parent to make such decisions.

Significant choices include decisions that affect the child’s upbringing, health, well-being, and education. Specific decisions dictated by the parent(s) with legal custody are:

  • The child’s home or main residence
  • Educational activities
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Pediatric, dental, or other health care
  • Religious or spiritual activities
  • Psychological, psychiatric, or other mental health counseling
  • Travel

Joint Legal Custody

Parents who share joint legal custody collaboratively arrive at most decisions on the child’s behalf. However, some decisions can be made independently by each parent. Communication between parents sharing joint custody is crucial in ensuring the health, well-being, and safety of the child.

Sole Legal Child Custody

A parent with sole custody, on the other hand, holds the legal authority to make significant decisions on the child’s behalf. Parents without child custody that make significant decisions on their child’s behalf may face legal consequences.

Child Custody FAQs

What is the “child’s best interest”?

The child’s best interest refers to the legal standard a judge will use to determine child custody and visitation. Regardless of the circumstances, legal proceedings will prioritize the child’s health and well-being. Legally speaking, the child’s best interest will reflect the prioritization of his or her welfare.

What is the difference between physical and legal child custody?

While physical custody refers to where and with who a child will live, legal custody refers to the legal authority necessary to make significant decisions on the child’s behalf.

How can I get a temporary child custody order?

Temporary child custody is ordered during divorce or separation. To request a temporary child custody order, fill out any necessary forms, and take them to a designated court.

In order to successfully receive a temporary child custody order, it may be in your best interest to consult a child custody lawyer.

How can I modify a child custody order?

To modify a child custody order, you must prove to the court that there has been a change in circumstances that significantly effects the child. Then, file all necessary paperwork and complete the child custody modification process.

In order to successfully modify a child custody order, it may be in your best interest to consult a child custody attorney.

Can anyone other than a parent get child custody rights?

Child custody rights can be given to someone other than the child’s parents. People other than parents that can be granted child custody include grandparents, aunts, uncles, stepparents, nannies, etc. A third person must prove to the court or mediator that his or her care will fulfill the child’s best interests.

Are courts more likely to grant custody to mothers or fathers?

Although California law explicitly states that parent roles do not play a part in determining child custody, just over 51% of child custody cases give the mother primary custody.

Do child custody and visitation terms have to be determined in court?

No. Child custody and visitation terms can be determined outside of court either through collaborative divorce, mediation, or arbitration.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration when determining child custody and visitation?

In mediation, a neutral, third-party informally helps parents reach an agreement. In arbitration, an arbitrator is hired and appointed to the case. The arbitrator acts as an out-of-court judge and makes a legally-binding decision.

Is mediation the best way to determine child custody and visitation?

Although mediation is often seen as the most civil way to determine child custody, it may not always be the child’s best option. In some situations, having an unbiased party gather all relevant information and subsequently, order child custody may be in the child’s best interest. This may involve court or arbitration.

Click here for answers to more child custody FAQs in California.

Child Custody – Attorney Principles

Protecting You and Your Child’s Best Interest

As your legal representative, it is your attorney’s privileged duty to protect you and your child’s legal rights. Understanding divorce and child custody laws is crucial in recognizing such rights. In order to protect your rights, you must hire an experienced attorney that understands them. California’s child custody and visitations laws are complex. One of our experienced child custody and visitation attorneys for mothers will help you navigate through California’s complex legal system.

An Unbiased Approach

Through extensive training, our experienced child custody attorneys understand that every situation calls for unique action. Without judgment or bias, one of our child custody attorneys will evaluate all relevant history and circumstances to help determine the child’s best interest. When handling such sensitive matters, some clients request to be represented by one of our child custody attorneys. At your request, one of our women lawyers will be ready to protect you and your child’s rights and best interests.

Effectively Navigating Sensitive Situations

Although you may request a woman to represent you, every attorney in Her Lawyer’s network undergoes gender sensitivity training and is equipped to handle sensitive issues such as child custody. Child custody attorneys can help reach an agreement between the parents reflecting the child’s best interest. Our experienced child custody attorneys for mothers understand how to navigate tense situations through foresighted planning and determination.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one is seeking a divorce and needs help resolving child custody terms, contact Her Lawyer to get in touch with the right child custody attorney for you. Personal needs require personalized service.

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