If you have a child and do not have custody or do not have a custody agreement in place, then you likely have questions about Child Custody in California. The good news is that at Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell, we have answers to your most commonly asked questions. Remember that you can call us at (909) 920-0908 for a free consultation and to get answers to your specific questions. In the meantime, read on to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
What are the drawbacks to filing for child custody?
If you have informal custody of your child and the other parent is not involved, then filing for legal custody could bring the other party into the picture. This could result in custody battles, it could end up with several hearings, and it could put your private life open to scrutiny. That said, it can be well worth it to give you the peace of mind that your custody situation is legal.
Is it necessary to have a lawyer to file for custody?
It is not a legal requirement but we do highly recommend it – especially if the other party has a family law attorney. There is a lot of paperwork and potentially several court hearings. Without a background in family law, it would be very challenging to navigate this system on your own.
What are my custody options?
There are several types of custody, including joint physical custody in which both parents have equal rights to contact and living with their children, and joint legal custody that involves both parents sharing equally in legal decisions. Sole legal custody means that just one parent has custody and has the right to make legal decisions. The parent who does not have custody often has access to visitation.
How are custody and visitation different?
A parent who has sole custody of a child can make all decisions and has the sole responsibility of providing a home for their child. A parent who does not do this generally has visitation rights, which means that they can visit the child or have the child visit them. There are limits that can be placed on this, based on abuse and other issues that would put the child in danger.
How does the court make a decision about who gets custody?
The court considers many factors to determine who gets custody, including which parent is more likely to allow the other parent visitation, whether there is any drug or alcohol abuse by either parent, what the child’s preference is if the child is 12 years or older, and whether there is any evidence of domestic violence.
No matter where you are in the process, if you are about to have a child and want to have a plan in place or you have a child and simply want to legalize the agreement that’s been working, Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell is here to help. Contact us at (909) 920-0908 now for a free consultation.