Children often suffer the most from a shift in the family structure. There is no question that divorce takes a considerable toll on children, especially younger children, who may not grasp why their family is changing. At Bratton, Razo, and Lord our Riverside child custody lawyers understand the emotional challenges as well as the legal challenges that shape the outcome of divorce proceedings. Our primary objective is to protect the best interests of our clients and their children, especially in child custody proceedings.
Child custody proceedings are often the most tumultuous in a divorce or separation. Naturally, many parents may cling more tightly to their children when they leave their spouses as they struggle to adjust to their new lives. It is not uncommon for both parents to wish to retain custody of their children, and most do in some form. With an experienced child custody lawyer on your side, you can fight for what’s best for your family.
Types of Child Custody in Riverside
California divorce laws provide for two main types of child custody: legal and physical custody. Parents who retain legal custody of their children maintain the right and duty to make important long-term decisions about their child’s education, healthcare, and overall upbringing. In most cases, both parents work together to make these decisions and thus both retain legal custody.
Physical custody addresses the question of how much time each parent will spend with the child after divorce. Ideally, the court splits parenting time evenly between the two parents; however, the 50/50 arrangement may not function under certain circumstances, such as when the two parents live considerably far from each other or when a parent spends most of his or her time on-the-go.
Parents must work toward creating a parenting plan that works for them that puts their child’s best interests first. The best results in a child custody case often stem from parents who can put their differences aside for their child’s benefit and draft a parenting plan together. When the parents cannot do so, they have no choice but to allow the judge to decide on a parenting plan for them.
Understanding Physical Custody in California
Parents who share physical custody of their children in California have what is called joint custody. This means that both parents spend a significant amount of time with their children. When one parent gets more time than the other, he or she is legally recognized as the “primary custodial parent” or the parent who spends the majority of time with the child. To retain primary physical custody of your children, you must spend more than 50% of the time with them.
Sole physical custody provides physical custody to just one parent. The child lives with one parent, while the other parent may receive visitation rights.
Quality Representation for Child Custody Issues in Riverside
Winning a child custody battle means showing the judge that it is in your children’s best interest to spend most of the time with you. The judge will consider several factors about your children when deciding what is in their “best interests.” Once the court approves a child custody arrangement, it may be legally enforced. Modifying the arrangement also requires legal action. We strongly recommend retaining a child custody attorney to help you with custody-related legal issues in Riverside.
For quality legal representation in a child custody dispute, turn to the Law Offices of Bratton, Razo & Lord. Our family lawyers have helped people throughout Riverside and San Bernardino achieve their ideal arrangements in court. Call (951) 684-9000 for a free consultation or contact us.