Child Custody

Sometimes parents cannot agree to the custody of their child. When you cannot come to an agreement about the custody of your child, then, making a request to a court is your next step.

There are two forms of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. Physical custody is having the child under the supervision of a parent for significant periods of time. Custody determinations are made irrespective of the gender identification of the parent.

In making custody determinations, the health, safety and welfare of the child is paramount. Important in making these determinations include consideration of any history of abuse by one of the parents. Also important is the historical nature and amount of contact by the child with the parents. Finally, any substance abuse issues of a parent will be weighted heavily by the Court.

There are two types of custody, whether legal or physical: sole and joint. Sole legal custody and sole physical custody means that only one parent has legal and/or physical custody of the child. Joint legal custody and joint physical custody means that both parents have legal and/or physical custody of the child.

The court will be deciding what is in the best interests of the child while considering the evidence before it. The court will weigh heavily its interest, everything else being equal, in the child having frequent and continuing contact with both parents, and for the parents to share the rights and responsibilities of chid rearing.

Child custody can be determined incidental to a proceeding for dissolution, separation, nullity, parentage (paternity) or domestic violence or it can be determined within a proceeding for custody. Temporary orders pending making permanent orders are available as cases sometimes take several months or more to get to trial.

There are many ways to obtain assistance through this process. There are self-help clinics, non-profit organizations, private attorneys, tax-payer based family law services, mental health professionals, mediators, arbitrators, parenting coaches, accountants, friends, family, internet resources, books, periodicals, State Bar of California resources, document preparers, school officials, and law enforcement agencies.

We are private attorneys and we are a boutique family law and litigation firm in Sherman Oaks, California serving clients from border to border. We appear both in state and federal courts. We are appear in both trial courts and appellate courts. Should you wish our assistance, please call us. We would be honored to help you.