Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

Child custody is a critical issue for most parents who are going through a divorce, separation, or paternity case. When parents cannot agree on these arrangements for their child, the legal proceedings can become extremely stressful, emotional, and complicated.

Getting the advice of an Agoura Hills child custody lawyer can be crucial to protecting the best interests of your kids and your parental rights. An experienced family attorney could advise you on how state laws apply to your situation and devise an effective strategy for obtaining or maintaining custody of your children.

Factors that May Impact Custody Decisions

Under state law, various factors impact may child custody decisions by a court. These factors generally are related to the best interests of the child and may include:

  • The criminal history of either parent
  • Any history of alcohol or drug abuse by either parent
  • The child’s wishes, generally if the child is over the age of 14
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child

Other relevant factors may include the ability of a parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and their former spouse, a history of domestic violence by either parent, and the relative stability of each partner. Courts can measure the stability of a parent in terms of their home, job, finances, and living situation. Child custody cases can be challenging in many instances, which may call for the involvement of a lawyer in Agoura Hills.

California Family Code §3040 also explicitly sets out some factors that judges may not consider when making parenting plan determinations. These factors may include a parent’s immigration status, sex, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation.

What is Legal Custody?

Legal custody is the right of a parent to make essential decisions about their child’s health, education, and welfare. When a party has legal custody over their child, they can make decisions regarding a child’s medical care, education, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities.

In some cases, parents share joint legal custody. Under Cal. Fam. Code §3003, parents must cooperate to make these critical decisions about their children together. A joint legal custody order is typical in cases where the parents can work together to solve problems and make these decisions.

In other cases, one parent may have sole legal custody. Cal. Fam. Code §3006 allows one party to make crucial decisions for their kids. However, the law presumes that joint custody is in the best interest of a child unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise.

Determining Physical Custody of a Child in an Agoura Hills Cases

Physical custody orders determine where a child will live. If a parent has a sole physical custody order under Cal. Fam. Code §3007, then their child lives with them most of the time and may have regular visits with their other. Other former spouses share joint physical custody, which means that the child spends time living with each parent. An attorney in Agoura Hills could help someone understand the nuances of how the courts award physical custody for a child.

Call an Agoura Hills Child Custody Attorney

Going through custody and visitation proceedings can be extremely challenging. You likely are to have many questions and concerns as your case progresses. Retaining the services of an Agoura Hills child custody lawyer could address your concerns and help you through this difficult process.

Working with legal counsel can be highly beneficial. Having someone who understands the intricacies of custody law and could advocate on your behalf may relieve some stress around your situation. For help with your custody case, call today.

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