Roseville Child Custody Attorneys
Helping Create Balanced Custody Plans for Children Throughout California
For many couples, the custody arrangements for their children constitute the single most stressful, anxiety-inducing, and difficult aspect of their divorce. In cases involving same-sex couples, the issue can be complicated given the unique circumstances present surrounding a couple's choice to become a family.
Our team at the Bez Law Firm, P.C. understands your concerns. We have successfully advocated for families throughout Northern California for many years. You can rely on us to protect your child's interests and to uphold your parental rights.
Set up a consultation with a knowledgeable Roseville child custody lawyer today at (916) 512-8944. We take cases statewide!
California's Child Custody Laws
California law requires a judge to consider the best interests of the children when determining a custody/visitation case. The current law requires the family codes to be read gender neutral so that neither party will have an automatic advantage over the other. In fact, the court views shared custody as the ideal solution whenever possible, as involvement from both parents is viewed as best for the child unless domestic violence is involved.
The court may also seek to identify which parent is most likely to foster a healthy co-parenting relationship. Based on the health, safety, and well-being of the child, the judge will seek to make a decision that protects the child's interests and well-being based on a review of the individual facts of the case.
Best Interest of the Child in Custody Cases
The most important consideration when establishing a child custody arrangement is the best interest of the child — i.e. ensuring that the child is safe and healthy and that he or she has continuous contact with both parents. California judges elevate the best interest of the child above the wishes of either parent. The judge will consider the following:
- The child’s age
- The health and ability to adapt to his or her home, school and community
- The capacity of both parents to care for the child
- Whether a history of violence exists
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody
California allows for two types of custody:
- Joint custody, where parents share in the care of their child
- Sole custody, where one parent has primary rights to the child's physical person and has the presumptive right to move
Those involved in establishing a child custody arrangement typically prefer a joint custody agreement. However, while divorcing spouses may share joint physical and legal custody of their children, certain circumstances dictate that only one parent should retain custody, especially if the family has experienced a history of violence.
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Custody can also come in two forms:
- Legal custody, which involves the decision-making aspect of parenting including choices regarding education, religion, and healthcare
- Physical custody, which involves the location of where the child stays and other aspects of day-to-day care
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is often challenging to ensure that physical custody of a child is shared equally between both parents. Under California state law, the parent who does not see the child at 50 percent of the time is awarded visitation, while the other parent receives physical custody. Whichever parent sees his or her child more often is commonly referred to as the “primary custodial parent.”
Does Custody Affect Child Support?
The amount of parenting time each parent has with the child and his/her income are some of the factors the court looks at when determining child support. It is possible for someone to have more parenting time and still pay child support to the other parent, since child support is designed to allow the child to live in the same life style in both houses.
However, there are many more elements that go into the child support decision, so it is important to discuss your situation in full with your child custody attorney before jumping to any conclusions.
Common factors that may affect your child support calculation in California include:
- Disposable income of each parent
- Number of children needing child support
After all of these factors have been evaluated, the court will rule in favor of what it believes is the child's best interest. This is why it's crucial to have your case presented by an experienced and thorough Roseville child custody attorney. A misunderstanding of your case by the court could result in an unfavorable outcome for you, which can affect your child's future. By calling the Bez Law Firm, P.C., you can have peace of mind that your case is being given the diligent attention it deserves.
What is an Unfit Parent in California?
There must be substantial evidence to prove a parent as “unfit” in California. There are various factors that the court will consider when making such a judgment. Obvious ones include:
- Any evidence of child abuse
- If there is a history of domestic violence
- If there is a history of substance abuse
- A diagnosed mental illness
Other more nuanced factors the court will consider include:
- The parent’s involvement with the child
- The parent's understanding of the child’s needs
- How the child feels toward the parent
- The parent’s ability to set age-appropriate limits
- The parent’s ability to handle conflict
What Are My Rights as a Father in California?
Once paternity is established, the father has equal rights with the mother in child custody cases. Therefore, the father has the right to seek custody of their child, and the court will grant it if it deems it is in the child’s best interests. If the mother is given custody, then the father has the right to seek visitation rights.
Additionally, if the father is given primary custody of the child, then he has the right to request child support.
Can I Modify Existing Custody Orders and Child Support Orders?
Once the court has handed down orders pertaining to child custody/support, it may eventually become necessary to change those orders to better reflect your current situation.
Child custody modifications are usually made following a dramatic change in one parent’s income or circumstance. A California court will consider the applicant’s financial stability and the best interest of the child when considering changes in child custody arrangements. Typically, a dramatic shift in the applicant’s life must have had occurred for a judge to modify an existing child custody agreement.
Reasons to Modify a Child Custody Arrangement
In California, there are many reasons for which a parent may request a child custody modification.
- If one parent is no longer able to maintain an expected level of care for a child, the other parent may gain custody of the child.
- If one parent decides to relocate to another state, a California judge will often approve a modification if the move is in the best interest of the child.
- If one parent has engaged in violent behavior or has been found to be in possession of illegal drugs, a family law judge may sign off on a modification.
- A California judge will typically consider a child custody modification if the current visitation schedule has not been followed and/or if there has been a lack of communication between parents.
- Additionally, if the custodial parent passes away, a court will need to determine if the non-custodial parent should assume full responsibility for the child, or if a third party, such as a grandparent or other family member, will assume custody.
- A California judge will also consider the distance of the non-custodial parent from the custodial home, as well as the non-custodial parent’s financial condition and the wishes of the child.
Our team at the Bez Law Firm, P.C. can answer your questions about the modification process and grounds for changing court-ordered arrangements. Our Roseville custody lawyers are prepared to advocate for you, protecting your parental rights and your child's best interests.
Move Away Cases in California
Should a parent wish to move away with their child for more than 30 days, they must provide written notice. This notice should be sent 45 days prior to the proposed move date in order for both parents to come to a new custody and visitation agreement. Generally speaking, a parent with permanent sole physical custody can move away with the child, unless the non-custodial parent can prove that the move will harm the child. Those with joint physical custody must prove to the court that the move will be in the best interests of the child.
Contact the Bez Law Firm, P.C. for Your Consultation
Our team at the Bez Law Firm, P.C. provides answers to our clients' questions about child custody, child support, and more. We're accomplished, proven, and reliable. You can trust us for answers and support. We've been advocating for families in Placer County for years.
Reach our team at (916) 512-8944 to discuss your custody matter. Our child custody lawyers take cases throughout California.