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San Diego Child Custody Lawyer

One of the main issues in a divorce involving children is which parent has physical custody, and how much time each parent has with the child. This is known as “custodial timeshare” or “percentage timeshare.” The percentage timeshare you have with your children will have a direct impact on the amount of child support you pay or receive. Our San Diego child custody lawyer at Scott Family Law can help you sort out the details of your specific case, ensuring the best possible result for your family’s situation.

How Can Our San Diego Child Custody Attorney Help You?

  • At Scott Family Law firm in San Diego, we are open and transparent in our actions.
  • Our San Diego divorce lawyers develop strategies based upon your specific needs.
  • When children are involved in family law matters, we are committed to protecting their best interests.
  • We have a successful track record of obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients in child custody cases.

Do You Need a Lawyer in a Child Custody Case?

It is not required by law to attain a lawyer in a child custody case. However, when parents cannot come to an agreement about the custody of the child/children, a legal process is required and resolved by a judge.

Divorce and child custody disputes are never easy, but our San Diego child custody attorney at our firm can help. In custody matters, the courts focus on the safety, health, and welfare of the child. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to effectively represent your interests and those of your children.

What Are the Different Types of Custody?

There are two types of child custody in California:

1. Legal custody: This refers to the authority of a parent to participate in major decisions affecting the child’s welfare, health, and education. Examples of this include:

  • Deciding where the child will attend school
  • Whether the child/children will engage in religious activities
  • Whether a child should receive medical care in non-emergency situations

2. Physical custody: This term means the physical presence of the child with a parent. It refers to where the child will live after a divorce or separation is finalized.

California Statutes on Child Custody

California statues promote that children have equal relations with both parents. Even is one parent has primary custody (as defined by the child staying with that parent over 50% of the time) the judge will allow the non-custodial parent to have adequate visitation.

What Does it Mean to Have Joint Custody?

In a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents have significant periods of physical custody of the child, but not necessarily equal time. A judge that awards joint legal custody may or may not also award joint physical custody. When both parents agree, California courts favor joint legal and joint physical custody. However, if they do not agree, there is no presumption either for or against joint custody. California’s laws tend to prefer joint physical custody so that the children have equal time with each parent. Sole physical custody is usually only ordered in the most specific of circumstances.

According to our San Diego child custody lawyer, there are many benefits to negotiating a parenting arrangement. The reason is that that you know what is best for your child and your individual schedules. Because of this, most judges usually prefer that the parents decide on their own parenting agreement and will not interfere unless there are problems between the parties. In cases where the parents cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements, the court will order custody and a visitation and holiday schedule.

Who Gets Child Custody in a CA Divorce?

Judges evaluating custody cases must rule in the best interests of the child and are not permitted to give preference to either parent based on gender. The two guiding policies in determining the best interests of the child under state law are:

  • Health, safety, and welfare of the child are the primary concern of the court
  • Frequent contact with both parents is beneficial to children.

What Do Judges Consider When Deciding Child Custody Cases?

In determining child custody, the court must consider a number of factors, including:

  • Health and safety of the child: Custody or unsupervised visitation may not be granted to parents who have been convicted of certain crimes, engaged in child or partner abuse, or habitually and continually engaged in alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Preference of the child: Courts are required to consider the wishes of the child regarding custody if the child is mature enough to make an intelligent choice. No particular age is specified for when the child’s preference will be considered.
  • Co-parenting skills: The court will consider which parent is more likely to encourage a positive relationship with the other parent. Judges view unfavorably any action that interferes with a child’s relationship with the other parent, particularly unfounded allegations of sexual abuse.
  • Stability and continuity: Judges favor keeping siblings together, maintaining established patterns of care, and protecting emotional bonds with primary caregivers.

Child Custody Tips

  • Be involved in your child’s life. Courts want to see that you are part of the child’s life; school, sports, doctor visits, etc. If you are not involved in your child’s life it will be tough to obtain custody.
  • Be flexible with visitation. Try to accommodate the other parent if they would like to switch a day or weekend. Courts like parents who foster cooperation.
  • Courts generally are very opposed to the children knowing the details of your divorce issues. Do not explain to your children the legal issues and stick to simply explanations of the relationship changes between you and your ex-spouse.
  • Are you concerned with the other parent receiving custody? Is there alcohol, drugs, violence, or multiple romantic relationships involved? Be prepared to provide evidence and keep track of events that the court should know.

Free Consultation with A San Diego Child Custody Attorney

Custody disputes can be emotional and stressful. Our experienced attorneys at Scott Family Law in San Diego can effectively protect your rights as a parent, pursuing a favorable outcome in the best interests of your children in a family court. Contact our child custody attorneys in San Diego for the best possible outcome in your legal child custody proceedings.

Our office resides in Kearny Mesa, and proudly serve ALL areas in San Diego and Southern California.

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