Advocating for Your Interests in Child Custody and Visitation Disputes
Helping you do what is in your children’s best interest during a divorce
No issue is of greater concern to many parents in a divorce than who will gain custody of the children and the visitation rights that will be granted. Making sure your children have a chance to succeed in life after a parental split is crucial. Courts may award physical and legal custody to one parent or both based on the best interests of the children. An effective divorce attorney will argue forcefully for the arrangement best suited to the needs of your children in accordance with your wishes. At the Law Office of Barbara J. May we represent clients who are involved in child custody and visitation cases in both negotiation and litigation.
The types of child custody
There are several potential outcomes when it comes to custody of the children. These include the following:
Sole physical custody – This is when the children live primarily with one parent.
Joint physical custody – If the children will spend time living with each parent on a regular basis, joint physical custody is awarded. Still, the children may be in the physical custody of one parent more than the other. Equal time is not required as part of joint physical custody.
Sole legal custody – The focus of legal custody is the right to make important decisions related to the welfare, education and health of the children. When one parent is to make these decisions alone, sole legal custody is awarded.
Joint legal custody – When parents share the right to make decisions about their children’s welfare, education and health, the court awards joint legal custody.
Courts consider many factors in determining custody including the health, safety and welfare of the child and the child’s preference, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent decision. If domestic violence was part of the marriage, this will also be taken into account and it may be necessary to obtain a restraining order from a court for legal protection.
How are child visitation rights determined for fathers and grandparents in a divorce?
If sole physical custody is awarded to the mother, visitation rights will often be extremely important to the father. If the parents cannot reach agreement, the court may determine visitation rights. Since continuing contact with both parents is generally in the best interest of the children, visitation rights are likely to be granted to the parent who does not have physical custody.
California law also permits grandparents to obtain visitation rights, but only if they formed a bond with the child prior to the divorce, if visitation is in the best interest of the grandchildren and if visitation will not interfere with the rights of the parents to make decisions about the children.
Can you modify child custody and visitation rights in California?
Child custody orders may be modified if changed circumstances warrant a revision and it is in the best interest of the children. As children grow, their interests and needs may dictate a change. When parents take a new job, buy a new home or change their lives in other ways, custody and visitation rights may need to be modified. It is vital to seek the assistance of a family law attorney if you want to modify a child custody or visitation arrangement.
Contact a child custody and visitation attorney in Monterey, California to protect your parenting rights
At the Law Office of Barbara J. May, we represent parents seeking child custody and visitation rights. Our downtown office in Monterey is across the street from the Monterey Sports Center. We provide a reduced-fee initial consultation for new clients. Call us at 831.649.1253