Certified Family Law specialist
EXPERIENCED San Fernando Valley Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody attorney serving Los Angeles county in california
As a parent, you want to ensure the best possible outcome regarding the custody of your child. The obvious question is—how to do this in the context of divorce or the end of your relationship with the other parent?
The San Fernando Valley child custody attorneys of Joel S. Seidel & Associates can assist you with this difficult process, whether through informal resolution or, if necessary, contested litigation.
What Types of Child Custody Are There in CaliforniA?
There are two types of child custody in California: legal custody and physical custody.
- Legal Custody – Designates which parent has the right and the responsibility to make decisions relating to the child's health, education, and welfare. Can be awarded as sole or joint legal custody.
- Physical Custody – Designates the parent(s) with whom the child will reside. Can be awarded as sole or joint physical custody. If only one parent is granted physical custody, then the other parent can still seek visitation rights.
Every family is different, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all custody plan. Your custody plan should match the unique needs of your children while still protecting your parental rights.
What Is Joint Custody?
Joint custody allows both parents regular access to the children while also clearly outlining parental rights and responsibilities. In a true joint custody agreement, the two parents share both legal and physical custody equally; however, not all joint custody cases give equal parenting time or decision-making authority to each parent.
What Is Sole Custody?
Sole custody allows only one parent to be granted legal and/or physical custody of the child. It is possible for one parent to maintain full legal custody while still sharing physical custody with the other parent. In other cases, one parent is awarded sole legal and physical custody, and the non-custodial parent can seek visitation rights.
What Does The Court Consider in a Child Custody Case?
- Promoting the child's health, safety, and welfare
- Ensuring that the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated, dissolved their marriage or ended their relationship
The California trial court's decision will be upheld on appeal so long as it can be reasonably concluded that the order advances the child's best interests.
While the legal standards for a custody determination are not particularly complex, effectively litigating a child custody dispute is tremendously nuanced, and requires hundreds of decisions in court and out of court. Many of the most important decisions in a child custody dispute are the result of privileged, strategic communications that occur between the client and the San Fernando Valley child custody lawyer on almost a daily basis.
Determining What Is in the Child’s Best Interest in California
Child custody and the establishment of parenting plans constitute a broad body of law in both case law and statutes. However, in simple terms, the most important consideration in these matters is always the child's best interests.
When a child custody case goes to court, determining the best interest of the child is left largely to the trial court's discretion. It is therefore important to have on your side a skilled San Fernando Valley child custody attorney to handle courtroom procedure as well as the presentation of evidence, ensuring that your rights and your child's best interests are properly represented.
When Matters Are Contentious
In highly contested circumstances, child custody cases may involve experts for the court or experts for the parties themselves. These experts may conduct evaluations of the parties and the children, such as a 730 evaluation. In these cases, an even higher level of legal knowledge and experience is necessary to navigate between the experts, the court, and the disputing parties. Again, many of the most important decisions are the result of privileged, strategic communications that occur between the client and his or her child custody attorney.
Why Having a Competent Child Custody Lawyer Matters
During what is undoubtedly a difficult time for you, a competent San Fernando Valley family law attorney can help you make informed decisions about your child custody and visitation case so that you reach an agreement that promotes your child's best interests. Our experienced San Fernando Valley child custody attorneys at Joel S. Seidel & Associates can provide you with sound legal counsel and represent you in court or in negotiations.
“He is proficient in knowing the law and legal system. He invests extra time to research cases and provides a calm and confident presence.” - Former Client
“Mr. Seidel represented me on a case that involved child custody issues, child support issues, spousal support issues, attorney fees, and the division of assets. He was prepared at all times, professional, and I could not be happier with his work and the ou” - Samuel (reviewed on Yelp)
“Joel and his team are incredible. They coached me through and incredibly difficult custody battle that ultimately ended in my child and my favor.” - Viola C. (reviewed on Google)