The dedicated attorneys at The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., help people like yourself get through custody battles. Having a dedicated, compassionate attorney working for you makes the child custody process less stressful and puts your mind at ease. We will explain child custody laws to you and work with you to build your child custody case. We are focused, experienced, and compassionate advocates who will aggressively pursue the best possible outcome for yourself and your children.
Schedule your confidential consultation with a child custody attorney at The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., today to speak about any child custody issue, including the following:
- The best interests standard;
- Legal custody;
- Physical custody;
- Parenting plans; and
When Child Custody Orders are Available in Palo Alto
Child custody orders are available when a parent opens a family law case with the court. The following types of family law cases permit the issuance of child custody orders:
- Petition for dissolution
- Legal separation
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order
- Petition for custody and support of minor children
- Local child support agency case
- Modification of child custody; or
- Paternity case
The “Best Interests” Standard in Child Custody
When making decisions about child custody, California courts look to the child’s “best interests” and each parent’s ability to care for the child. The best interests standard is a set of factors used by family court judges to aid in determining custody and visitation orders. The best interest standard is also the focus of any custody case when making custody arrangements for children.
Family court judges use the following factors as a guide when making custody and visitation rulings:
- The wishes of the child (depending on the child’s age and maturity);
- The mental and physical health of the parents;
- Any special needs of the child and how each parent addresses those needs;
- Religious and/or cultural considerations;
- The need for continuation of a stable home environment;
- Other children whose custody is relevant to this child’s custody arrangement;
- Support and opportunity for interaction with members of the extended family;
- Interactions and interrelationships with other members of the household;
- Ties to the child’s school and community;
- The age and sex of the child;
- Whether there is domestic violence in the home; and
- Whether there is physical, mental, or emotional abuse in the home.
A judge considers all relevant, available information regarding a child’s life when making custody and visitation orders.
Types of Child Custody in California
There are two types of child custody, physical custody, and legal custody. Legal custody is the power to make crucial decisions regarding a child’s health, welfare, religious upbringing, medical care, and education. Physical custody pertains to the actual residence in which the child resides.
When possible, parents work out a custody and parenting schedule on their own. This schedule is called a parenting plan. Parenting plans outline who the children live with and how the other parent will visit with the children.
In California, divorcing parents must attend mediation to work out a custody and visitation agreement before the court becomes involved. If parents are unable to make their parenting plan at mediation, the court makes one for them based on the best interests of the child.
It is recommended that parents work together to determine their own parenting plan as they know their children and schedules better than the court.
Types of Visitation in Palo Alto, California
Visitation encourages both parents to spend time and maintain a relationship with their child. When a child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent has visitation. Both parents may have joint legal custody but not joint physical custody.
There are three types of visitation:
- Regular visitation: This is when one parent has the children less than half of the time. The visitation schedule is to avoid any confusion or conflict about visitation;
- Supervised visitation: Visitation requires a supervising adult or professional agency during parent visitation due to the child’s safety and welfare or best interests.
- No visitation: When parent visitation is potentially physically or emotionally harmful to the child, the judge will order no visitation. Protecting the child is the court’s priority.
Today’s technology allows for expanding methods of visitation between parents and children. Virtual visitation by zoom, facetime or other computer software is now a popular option for parents and children separated by distances or work schedules that make traditional visitation too difficult. Although not the same as regular visitation, virtual visitation may protect and preserve family bonds that may otherwise collapse.
Schedule Your Confidential Case Review with our Palo Alto Child Custody Attorneys
Parents have legal rights and responsibilities towards their children. When you work with The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., we take the time to address these legalities and their effect on you and your children. Our attorneys want you to have the information needed to make confident choices in your child custody matters.
The decisions you make now are essential. They will affect you and your family for years to come. Speak with professionals who practice law in the family law courts every day before making any life-altering choices. At The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., we will help you build a roadmap for your future.