Mountain View Child Custody Lawyer
The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., is here for you when you need guidance and support in your child custody and visitation matters. Our child custody attorneys will work diligently to protect your parental rights and the best interests of your child or children. We will explain the child custody process to you and tell you how you can take an active, decisive role in your child custody case.
Whether you are married and divorcing or were never married, we have the skills and experience to resolve your child custody issues. Contact our office in Mountain View today to schedule a confidential child custody consultation regarding any child custody problem, including but not limited to, the following:
- Legal custody;
- Physical custody;
- Parenting plans; and
- Custody modification.
Child Custody in Mountain View, California
Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities of parents for their children. In California, the courts award custody based upon the best interests standard.
To decide what is in a child’s best interests, courts review the following:
- The child’s age and health;
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child;
- The ability of the parents to care for the child;
- Any history of family violence or substance abuse; and
- The child’s ties to the school, home, and his or her community.
The court gives no preference to the mother or father when awarding custody, regardless of a child’s age or sex. Courts cannot deny custody or visitation based on marriage, physical disability, lifestyle, religious belief, or sexual orientation.
California permits both shared and sole custody of children. When parents cannot agree on a custody plan in the best interests of their children alone or at mediation, the judge decides on their behalf.
There are two types of child custody, legal and physical. The parent or parent(s) with legal custody, make essential decisions for their children, such as medical care, religious upbringing, residence, and education. Physical custody pertains to the parent with whom the child primarily resides.
Parents can share legal custody, or one parent can exercise sole legal custody. Physical custody is either shared or held solely by one parent. Usually, the parent whom the child primarily resides with is called the custodial parent.
Visitation in Mountain View
When parents do not share physical custody, the parent without physical custody receives visitation. Visitation orders are dependent on the best interests of the children and the situation of the parents. There are various visitation orders, including the following:
- Visitation according to a schedule: The parents abide by a detailed visitation plan. This prevents and reduces conflicts and confusion. Visitation schedules include dates and times that the children will be with each parent, holidays, special occasions, and vacations;
- Reasonable visitation: A reasonable visitation order is not as detailed. These are more open-ended orders allowing parents to communicate and resolve their schedules. This plan works when parents are flexible and communicate well with one another;
- Supervised visitation: Supervised visitation is visitation supervised by the other parent, an authorized adult, or a professional agency. Supervised visitation is sometimes for the reintroduction of a parent and their children.
- No visitation: The use of this option is limited to when visitation is against the best interests of the children and is potentially harmful to the children.
The law requires that judges grant custody according to what is in the “best interest of the child.”
Parenting Plans in Mountain View
In California, parenting plans outline child custody. This is a document describing the legal custody and physical custody arrangement between parents, along with any visitation or time-share plan.
The goal of a parenting plan is to minimize conflict and disagreement regarding children’s schedules and provide children with a consistent schedule. Parenting plans are only enforceable court orders once signed by both parents, their attorneys, and the court.
Parenting plans require a lot of thought and need to focus on the children’s best interests. Items to consider when making a parenting plan include children’s:
- Medical care;
- School holidays and vacations;
- Time with each parent; and
- Daily routines.
Parents and the court should easily understand parenting plans. They should also be flexible to accommodate unforeseeable events like illness.
Unless there is domestic violence or another form of abuse, a parenting plan has stipulations regarding:
- Both parents having information about the children;
- Both parents calling the children;
- Both parents viewing the children’s medical and school records; and
- Each parent having the other parent’s address, phone numbers, and additional contact information.
Above all, children benefit from consistent parenting plans that allow quality time with each parent.
Mountain View Child Custody Modification
As children age and years pass, parenting plans become outdated and obsolete. Children take on new interests and activities, and parents remarry, move, and start new jobs. These changes often call for a modification of the original parenting plan.
If parents agree on changing their parenting plan, they can do so with the court by an agreement. If not, a new court action is necessary for a child custody modification. To modify a custody order, the court requires that a significant change of circumstances has taken place since the last custody order and that significant change affects the children’s best interests.
A final custody order is modifiable only when it is in the best interests of the children and needed to preserve a stable and consistent custody arrangement with their parents.
Contact the Mountain View Child Custody Attorneys at The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.
The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., wants to help you with your child custody case. We will provide you with sophisticated Mountain View family law counsel who are compassionate and responsive to your legal needs and concerns. We will craft a litigation plan developed with strategies personalized to meet your unique needs and goals.
Allow us to provide you with the excellent service, and real solutions you deserve by calling and scheduling a confidential consultation today.