Child custody is a uniquely complicated aspect of many family law cases, not only because of how sensitive a subject it often is to both parents but also because of how little direct control those parents often have over the outcome if they cannot resolve the issue between themselves. While an individual parent can argue in favor of a preferred arrangement, it will be the Court who makes the final decision of the parties cannot agree.
The arguments made by a concerned parent can still have a huge impact on what the court ultimately decides to do and working with a skilled family law attorney is often the best way to pursue a particular desired outcome. Seeking guidance from a Thousand Oaks child custody lawyer could make all the difference when it comes to getting an arrangement that serves your child’s best interests. both your child’s best interests and your own.
In California, there are two types of custody orders that a parent may obtain. Legal custody grants a parent the right and responsibility to make or participate in important decisions, such as those relating to healthcare, schooling, and religious upbringing. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with, and therefore, which parent is responsible for day-to-day care.
In many cases, granting legal and physical custody to both parents makes the most sense; however there might be cases where sole legal custody is best, such as where one parent has engaged in acts of abuse toward the other party or the children or the parent’s conduct would expose the children to harm. Where there is a dispute, the court will undertake a more thorough investigation to determine whether granting one parent sole physical or legal custody is in the best interests of the child. An attorney could provide crucial help to an individual parent in Thousand Oaks with pursuing their preferred child custody agreement.
Courts have the authority to take any and all relevant factors into consideration when making a custody decision for a child. When determining what would be in a child’s best interests, though, courts generally prioritize two concerns over all others: preserving the child’s physical and emotional wellness and supporting frequent and continuous contacts with both parents if at all possible.
In both contexts, the past behavior of both parents may be considered by the Court one way or the other. For example, two parents who worked cooperatively and amicably to raise a child would be much more likely to have joint legal and joint physical custody, whereas a court may not grant custody to a parent with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, violent conduct and/or child neglect.
If the court considers a child to be mature enough, it may ask the child for input about an appropriate custody arrangement. However, that is only one factor and the child’s judgment should never supplant the parents’ or the Court’s. A skilled lawyer in Thousand Oaks could help argue that a particular custody arrangement would better serve a child’s best interests.
Losing custody of your child is one of the most devastating outcomes a parent can endure. . Fortunately, there is a public policy favoring frequent and continuing contacts between parents and children. However, what the court thinks an appropriate custody order would be may not match your idea of what would be best for your child. After all, they do not know your family like you do.
In this kind of situation, working with legal counsel may be essential to obtaining a positive resolution Whether you want to establish a joint custody order, modify an existing one, or seek sole custody for your child’s safety and your own, our team could help. Call one of our Thousand Oaks child custody lawyers today to learn more.