Los Angeles Child Custody Attorney Discusses Your Rights
In California, child custody and parenting time are determined based on an evaluation of several factors. These factors are designed to help courts decide what arrangement will be in the best interests of the child. A Los Angeles child custody lawyer can help determine what factors can affect child custody in the state of California. If you are going through a divorce or would like to set up a custody and parenting time arrangement with your co-parent, a Los Angeles child custody attorney can help you do this with as little stress and anxiety as possible. A Los Angeles child custody attorney can also help you preserve your rights if your co-parent is threatening to alter or amend a current custody and parenting time order as modifications are also decided using the best interests of the child factors.
Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer and Child Custody Attorney Explains the Basic California Guidelines
In California, there are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custodial rights refer to a parent’s right to direct the upbringing of his child and include the right to make decisions with regard to the child’s medical, educational and spiritual needs. A court may award legal custody to both parents, or just one parent, depending upon the background factors applicable to the decision. However, the court is generally apt to allow both parents the opportunity to enjoy legal custody unless a blaring reason exists why one parent should not be involved.
Physical custody refers to the actual home wherein the child lives on a daily basis. The parent with physical custody is responsible for the child’s shelter, food and other basic living needs – supplemented by the non-custodial parent’s monthly child support payment.
Parenting time, formerly known as visitation, is a concept referring to a parent’s right to spend time with their child. A court order for parenting time is not the same as custody, but it allows the parent an unfettered right to spend time with the child during the defined time period
Best Interests Factors Affecting the Court’s Decision
If parents are unable to mutually agree upon a custody and parenting time plan, the court will weigh the best interests factors to help make an appropriate decision. Factors considered include:
- The child’s age and health
- Emotional ties between the child and either parent
- Parents’ ability to adequately care and provide for the child
- Criminal history, including domestic violence
- History of substance abuse
- Child’s adjustment to his home, school and community