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Child Custody & Visitation Lawyers in Glendale
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For married couples, parenting is generally a joint effort that does not require compartmentalizing a child’s time with their parents. However, when a child’s parents get divorced and stop living together, they must figure out how to allocate their schedules and parenting responsibilities. As a result, child custody and visitation matters often involve complicated legal issues. That is why it is important to consult an experienced child custody and visitation attorney in Glendale for legal representation. At Boyamian Law, you can benefit from the skilled advice and advocacy of our legal team. We offer comprehensive legal representation for divorce matters, including child custody and visitation cases.
Child Custody in California
Generally, all parents have a fundamental right to raise their child as they see fit. Under California law, the divorcing parents of a minor child must divide their time and responsibilities for raising their child after they separate.
Although each case is different, custody arrangements in category generally fall into the following categories:
- Physical custody: This term refers to a parent’s right to physically care for their child, including providing them with a residence where they live together. A parent with physical custody is responsible for watching over and caring for their child.
- Legal custody: A significant aspect of raising a child involves making important decisions on their behalf, such as those concerning education, medical care, and even wealth management. A parent who has the right to make such decisions for the child exercises legal custody.
- Joint custody: If both parents of a child share roughly the same rights and responsibilities regarding child custody, they are considered to be in a joint custody arrangement. Parents who share joint physical custody alternate living with the child, exchanging custody at regular times. In situations involving joint legal custody, both parents share the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf. When parents share legal custody, they are precluded from making unilateral decisions without the other parent’s input.
- Sole custody: In many custodial arrangements, one parent is primarily responsible for the care, control, and custody of their child. When a parent is awarded sole physical custody, their child spends most—if not all—their time with that parent. Likewise, a parent who has sole legal custody can make decisions for their child and is not required to consult the other parent to do so.
How Is Child Custody Determined in California?
In general, parents naturally conform their lives to best serve their child’s interests. California law regarding child custody and visitation reflects this dynamic by requiring courts to resolve custody issues with the child’s best interests at heart.
Divorce can be particularly difficult for a child to endure. That is why it is vital for the parties in a divorce case to resolve custody disputes such that their child’s best interests are protected. Courts consider several factors when deciding issues about child custody, as each case involves its own unique set of circumstances.
What Do Judges Look at When Deciding Custody?
Some of the factors courts consider when determining child custody include:
- Each parent’s financial resources
- Each parent’s capacity to promote the child’s relationship with the other parent
- The parent’s ability to provide the child with a safe and stable environment
- The parent’s capacity to provide affection and guidance for the child
- The age and health of the parents
- A parent’s history of substance abuse
- Any history of domestic violence within the household
- Special medical considerations and needs of the child
- The child’s preference in light of their age and maturity
Generally, California law recognizes how important it is for a child to maintain a relationship with both of their parents. Therefore, courts are more inclined award joint custody so long as it would be in the child’s best interest. However, if a joint custody arrangement would not serve the best interests of the child, a court may award a parent sole physical custody.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the noncustodial parent cannot spend time with their child. Parents have a fundamental right to maintain a relationship with their children, as long as they do not pose a risk to the child’s safety and health. A noncustodial parent has visitation rights, which entitles them to occasionally assume physical custody of their child.
The extent of a parent’s visitation rights depends on the specific circumstances of each case. Ultimately, the court will determine a visitation and parenting schedule according to the best interests of the minor child.
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