Child Custody Lawyer Walnut Creek, CA
A child custody lawyer Walnut Creek, CA trusts handles real, practical issues that arise between separating parents in relation to when and where each parent has custodial time with the kids. Most parent’s find themselves concerned with the potential of losing significant time with their children. The court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. To determine what situation is in the best interest of the child, the court considers several factors, but let’s come back to that later. Above all, seek a reputable child custody lawyer in Walnut Creek, one with compassion, who will listen and understand your situation and be able to guide you through the challenges in the road ahead.
Here are important terms to understand as you see a Walnut Creek, CA Child Custody Lawyer.
Legal Custody – The parent with legal custody makes the decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of their child. Parents can share joint legal custody or one parent can have sole legal custody (CA Family Code sections 3003 and 3006). Custody is often defined with a percentage (%), such as 50/50, 70/30, etc.
Physical Custody – Joint physical custody means that each parent cares for the child for significant periods of times. Sole physical custody means that the child lives with one parent and visits with the other parent (CA Family Code sections 3004 and 3007). Again, a percentage is often used in the definition of a custody arrangement.
Child Visitation/Timeshare – This is the actual schedule of time that you are to spend with your children. If you and the other party cannot agree on a schedule, the court will make timeshare schedule decisions based upon the best interests of the children. The timeshare schedule may differ based upon the age of the children and their needs. It will define days, times, and places that parties are to exchange a child or children. The two terms, visitation and timeshare, can be used interchangeably. In daily parlance, the terms are often used incorrectly in place of “custody.”
Back to the factors considered by the court when deciding what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the children. These factors include: the ages of the children, each parent’s living situation, each parent’s willingness to support the other’s relationship with the children (and any interference in doing so), each parent’s relationship with the children prior to divorce, children’s preferences, continuity and stability of each parent’s home, past abuse or neglect, and more. In regards to age, younger children generally need to see each parent more frequently than older children. Sometimes, the child’s preference may carry more weight as they age. Also, the living situation a parent is in should reflect that parent’s desire to be prepared and want to provide for their children; don’t expect a judge to grant full custody if you are couch surfing. As to stability, a divorce is hard enough on children; courts are not inclined to add to the trauma by placing a child in a situation where a parent has an unsteady job or living situation.
These factors provide a brief summary of only a few common factors. A top Walnut Creek child custody lawyer knows the court and Judges and can provide a more tailored approach to the specific facts of your case.
Custody is usually intertwined with several other facets of family law and there is a need to consider all of them comprehensively. When you seek a child custody lawyer Walnut Creek, CA needs and want someone who can quickly target the pertinent factors to your case, call the Law Office of Ariel Brownell.