California Child Custody Law
The decision to get a divorce is difficult, but the process immediately afterward is even more emotionally taxing, complex, and confusing. One of the most common reasons why a divorce is contested is because of children and determining custody. Who will care for your child? Who will pay support, and how much? What will your visitation schedule look like? Do you think your ex-partner should have visitation at all? Custody can be incredibly complicated, and the best investment you can make in your future, and the well being of your child, is hiring a qualified attorney to represent you. Custody lawyers specialize in custody and support issues and can help protect your rights.
Custody cases are always unique. A non-custodial parent may be seeking shared or joint custody; grandparents may want custody if the parents are unfit or absent; one parent may even want to have the other’s parental rights terminated. Whatever the case, it is very difficult to represent yourself: the law is intricate, and it changes constantly. Further, it is very common for parents to be emotional, overwrought, anxious, worried, angry, or all of the above. This makes it difficult to think clearly and to make the best possible decisions. While your lawyer does represent you, he/she is impartial. They do not have emotional entanglements; this helps them make decisions now that will impact the future positively.
If you are looking for a custody attorney, you have no shortage of options. It has been said that they are a dime a dozen; that may be true, but good ones are not. They are worth their fees, but finding them takes a little time and research. Before meeting with any lawyer, check his/her credentials online. Is he licensed to practice law in your state? Does he belong to any professional organizations? Here are some questions you want to ask a prospective lawyer before you make your decision:
- How much experience do you have in custody cases and litigation? How many cases have you worked on that were similar to mine?
- How long have you been practicing law? Do you specialize in family law?
- How long have you been practicing in this jurisdiction. (This is important because laws vary from state to state.)
- What are your fees? What is included? Do you have any type of payment program or sliding scale for lower income people?
- What can I expect from now on? What does the process look like?
Custody cases can be very difficult, and they can get ugly. Your lawyer will advise you to put yourself in the most favorable position possible. For instance, if a parent is unemployed but wants sole custody, then employment is a must. If a parent has unpaid debts, rectifying that situation will go a long way in proving the parent is stable and able to provide for the child. Your lawyer can also help you make your case to the family court; this is important, especially for parents who believe shared custody would not be in the best interest of the child.
To learn more about child custody, family law, adoption laws, and more, visit Bohm Wildish, California Divorce Attorneys