A good child custody attorney will fight for everything you deserve as a parent in the custody battle.
Child Custody Attorney in Temecula
When parents are no longer living together, both parents want to spend as much time with their children as possible. It is a sad reality that when a breakup occurs, it is likely their children will not spend all of their time with one parent. Parents will need to learn how to share custody, and the children will have to adjust to being shuffled between two households.
In Riverside County, San Diego County, and San Bernardino County, the norm these days is some form of shared custody. This can look very different depending on each parents’ situation. For instance, a parent who travels frequently will likely not be awarded as much time as a stay-at-home parent. A parent who has been convicted of domestic violence may only be awarded supervised visitation.
When awarding custody, courts have several options. California courts can make many different custody awards.
Possible Custody Awards
- Custody to the mother only, with limited, day visits to the father
- Custody to the mother only, with supervised visits to the father
- Custody to the mother primarily, with overnight visits to the father
- Custody to the father only, with limited, day visits to the mother
- Custody to the father only, with supervised visits to the mother
- Custody to the father primarily, with overnight visits to the mother
- Joint custody with a week on, week off schedule to each parent
- Joint custody with a split week and every other weekend to each parent
In a child custody case, who gets custody of the children is based upon a number of factors.
Child Custody Factors
- What is the work schedule of each parent
- Does either parent require a babysitter during his/her time
- Who has the best history of caring for the children
- Who primarily takes the children to the doctor
- Who primarily takes the children to school or daycare
- Who primarily does the day-to-day chores for the children
- Who is more flexible in working together with the other parent
- Which parent is more reliable
- Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence
- Are the children safe to be around both parents
- Whether either parent has a criminal record
- Whether either parent has neglected the children
- Whether either parent abuses the children
- Is either parent addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Do both parents have appropriate housing for the children
- Do the children have beds at each parent’s home
- Are both parents able to provide for the children’s basic needs
- Are both parents able to transport the children to school
- Are both parents able to pick up the children from school
- Are both parents able to help the children with their homework
- Do the children have behavior problems at one parent’s home
- Do the children have emotional problems when with one parent
If you are going through a child custody case with the other parent, it is important you conduct yourself appropriately and do not give the other parent any leverage over you. It is also important to keep the children out of the conflict. Our child custody lawyers can help you with that.
Child Custody Battle Tips
- Don’t move out of the city with the children without first consulting an child custody attorney
- Be careful about establishing a status quo with visitation
- Don’t leave the house without the children before consulting an child custody lawyer
- Visit the children as much as you can
- Be on time for every exchange
- Do not engage in conflict during an exchange
- Try to negotiate a fair visitation arrangement
- Do not record the other parent during the exchange
- Refrain from discussing the case with the children
- Refrain from using the children as a messenger
- Do not give the children the other parent’s support check
- Do not ask the children who they want to live with
- Do not tell the children negative things about the other parent
- Keep the children out of it
- Shield the children from violence
- Refrain from using controlled substances when you are with the children
- Keep your personal life personal- be careful with your social media postings
- Do not spy on the other parent
- Don’t ask the children questions about what they do with the other parent
- Don’t ask the children about who the other party is dating
- Make sure the children are getting to school on time
- Make sure the children are completing their homework
- Ensure the children have an appropriate place to sleep
- Don’t leave small children home alone
- Don’t bring your children around inappropriate people
Child Custody Evaluation
In some challenging custody battles, the court may order the parents to undergo a child custody evaluation to see if they are fit to secure custody of the child or children. Either parent has the right to request a child custody evaluation, even if the court doesn’t see it as a requirement in the proceedings.
We recommend you seek advice from our experienced divorce attorneys about your parental rights in child custody arrangements. Having a qualified and experienced attorney on your team may help you secure the outcome you desire and place your child’s best interests at the center of the custody arrangement.
What Is the Legal Process Around Child Custody Decisions?
All courts take the child’s best interests into account when assessing parents for custody in a divorce. The court is looking at the following factors when making their custody decision.
- The age and sex of the child.
- The child’s mental health status.
- The parent’s mental health.
- The parent’s lifestyle and social circles.
- The child’s emotional bonds to their parents.
- The parent’s ability to provide for the needs of the child.
- The child’s current living situation.
- The child’s education.
- The impact of the divorce and change in the child’s living situation.
- The court will ask the child for their preference, depending on their age.
Divorce Asset Protection
Going through a divorce will have a devastating effect on your finances. There is no way around it. What was once one household will now become two. The same amount of income you relied on to support your family will now have to be divided between two households. Even so, there are some things that you can do to make lessen impact of your divorce. Please see the checklist below:
- Get a written agreement before you marry. The first line of defense against being ruined financially in a divorce is to enter into a prenuptial agreement. This will help determine who gets what in the event you ever get a divorce.
- Get a written agreement after you marry. If you are married and not separated, you and your spouse can enter into a postnuptial agreement. Like a prenuptial agreement, this agreement will help determine how property is divided if you ever get a divorce. However, this agreement is made after you are already married.
- Get a written agreement after you separate. If you are already separated, you and your spouse can enter into a marital settlement agreement. This will determine how your property is divided in the divorce.
- Inventory your valuables. Keep track of all your valuables by photographing them and keeping them in a safe place. You may also want to have them appraised and insured by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
- Keep your inheritance separate. If you were given money or valuable gifts, make sure that you keep documents of where the items came from. If you inherited money or were gifted money, be sure to keep those bank accounts in your name only. Do not add your spouse to any accounts holding inherited money or gifted money.
- Do not add your spouse to your house title. If you owned a home before you married your spouse. Never add your spouse to the title of your home.
- Take all your personal property from the house when you leave. If you and your spouse are separating and you choose to be the one to move out of the home, take every personal item you wish to keep. Assume that any personal property left in the home will be lost to you forever.
- Take half the money from the bank. If you and your spouse have a savings account, consult with an attorney. If advised by your attorney, take half the savings before you separate and leave the rest for your spouse.
- Freeze all pension and retirement accounts. If you and your spouse have accumulated a pension plan or a retirement plan together, make sure your attorney freezes those accounts.
- Cancel all joint credit cards. If you and your spouse have credit cards together, make sure you cancel them or take your name off the card so your credit is not negatively affected by your spouse’s spending habits.
- Keep all pink slips to vehicles safe. If you and your spouse own vehicles that are paid off, make sure the pink slips to the vehicles are kept in a safe place.
- Make Copies of All Important Documents. You’ll need to have copies of all important documents before you leave your residence. This includes tax returns, paycheck stubs, W-2 statements, profit and loss statements, retirement information, loan information, and business records for any business you and/or your spouse owns.
- Disclose all your assets in the divorce. Make sure you divulge all your assets in the divorce. If you are not honest, you risk losing the asset entirely.
- Get your spouse’s financial records. You have the right to obtain financial information from your spouse. Make sure your attorney helps you gain access to your spouse’s financial records before entering into any divorce agreement.
You have been devoted to your children since the moment they were born. You’ve been there for every important milestone in their lives: their first birthday, their first lost tooth, their first day of school. You have protected them from the world; comforted them in their time of need. You have always shielded them from hurt- and now your life decisions are the source of their pain. The thought that you might not be there for their next “first” is awful.
The thought that a custody battle will cause them harm is unacceptable. You are worried for your children’s future, safety, as well as their emotional well-being. The last thing you want is an ugly custody battle.
Everyone has advice, but is any of it true? You need the help of someone who understands your needs and the legal process. What is sole legal custody? Can you get it? Do you have a chance at joint custody? What does the term mean? Can your son or daughter choose where he or she wants to live? These are some of the questions running through your mind. Below are some of the important terms you will hear throughout your custody process.
Generally, courts will award joint legal custody to the parents. This allows equal involvement from each parent in making decisions pertaining to the health care, education and day care for the children. Contact our Temecula child custody attorneys for help with child custody and visitation issues during a custody cases. Free initial consultation.
Here are some factors the court considers when awarding custody:
- Work Schedules: What is the schedule of each parent?
- School Schedules: Will visitation interrupt the children’s schooling?
- Distance: How far apart do the parents live?
- Violence: Is there any history of domestic violence?
- Drug/Alcohol Abuse: Are there any substance abuse issues?
- Abuse/Neglect: Is one of the parents a danger to the children?
- Mental Illness: Are there any mental health issues?
- Living Quarters: Do the parents have room for the children?
- Alienation: Is one of the parents attempting to alienate the children against the other parent?
- Desire: Is there a particular schedule the parents are seeking?
- Wishes of the children: Are the children old enough to choose?
- Stability: Can each parent provide a stable home?
- Comfort level: Is one of the parents in a situation which makes it uncomfortable for the children to visit?