San Fernando Valley Divorce Attorneys
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Child Custody

San Fernando Valley Child Custody Attorneys

Guiding You Through this Contentious Area of Divorce

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.

Legal Custody & Physical Custody

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.

Joint Custody & Sole 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.
  • Sole Custody – Only one parent is 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.

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.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our San Fernando Valley​​​​ child custody attorney!

What Does The Court Consider in a Child Custody Case?

Every situation is unique, and family law matters can be complicated. However, in determining a suitable child custody arrangement, courts must consider and effectuate two important public policies:

  • 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 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 attorney on almost a daily basis.

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 attorney.

Why Having a Competent Child Custody Lawyer Matters

During what is undoubtedly a difficult time for you, a competent 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 Divorce attorneys at Joel S. Seidel & Associates can provide you with sound legal counsel and represent you in court or in negotiations.

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.

Hear From Our Clients

5 / 5 stars
"Joel has been my ONLY lawyer for the last 6 painful years of my dissolution and divorce and brutal custody battle. Joel has not only been a great lawyer but also a trusted friend and advisor."

We have offices in Century City and Northridge. To schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney, contact us online or call (818) 435-3773.

Our Testimonials

  • “After five days of trial, we prevailed on every issue, doing even better than our settlement offers.”
  • “A professional problem-solving attorney”

    Anonymous (reviewed on Avvo)

  • “His cool confidence, knowledge, and skills in the court room have earned him respect from colleagues, judges as well as court staff. He is a powerhouse who is not intimidated by opposing counsel nor judges.”

    Former Client

  • “I would highly recommend Mr. Joel Sidel as he will zealously represent you”

    Esther Y.

  • “Professional Attorney”

    Anonymous (reviewed on Avvo)

The Premier Family Attorneys in Northridge

Led by a Certified Expert in Family Law & Divorce Matters
  • Certified Family Law Specialist

    The State Bar of California has named Attorney Joel Seidel a Certified Family Law Specialist, making him one of the few experts on the subject in all of California.

  • Customized Legal Strategies

    With decades of experience, our team is committed to crafting the ideal solution for your family situation. By listening to your needs and accounting for your goals, we make sure your case ends as happily as possible.

  • Team-Based Approach

    Our firm will collaborate on your case as a team. While you'll have a primary contact, all of our Los Angeles family law attorneys will be hard at work ensuring every detail of your case is handled well.

  • Ethical & Honest Representation

    We don't take claims unless we believe they have merit. In other words, we don't take your case just to bill you; we take your case because we have a chance to create a better situation for you.