While parents usually love their children and want what is best for them, they do not always agree about what that entails, and a dispute may arise over child custody. A child custody order can drastically affect a parent’s rights, and it is critical for people involved in a disagreement over custody to speak to an attorney regarding their options. The San Jose child custody lawyers at Daprile-Bell Family Law Offices are skilled at helping people protect their parental rights while seeking arrangements that best suit their children, and we can aid you in developing an appropriate strategy based on the facts of your case. We handle custody matters for parents throughout Silicon Valley, including people who work for tech companies from Santa Cruz to San Francisco.Factors Weighed in Determining Custody Rights
In California, when a court is presented with a custody action, the court’s sole concern is developing an arrangement that is in the best interest of the child whom the action concerns. In determining which arrangement of custody is most beneficial to a child, a court will consider the child’s age, health, and any special needs, the health of each parent, the ability of each parent to care for the child, the child’s ties to any community, school, or home, and the child’s relationship with each parent. If a child possesses an adequate ability to make a reasoned decision, the court may consider the child’s preferences as well. A child custody attorney at our San Jose firm can explain how each factor may affect your case. The court may not take into consideration either parent’s gender in determining custody, however. In other words, mothers are not granted preferential treatment over fathers in custody actions.Legal Custody, Physical Custody, and Visitation
In California, custody of a child is comprised of legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is essentially the right to make important decisions regarding how the child should be raised, such as where the child should attend school, which religious practices the child should observe (if any), which extracurricular activities the child should pursue, and the scope of the medical treatment that the child should receive. Physical custody is essentially the right to reside with the child.
A court may order any division of legal and physical custody. For example, a court may grant one parent sole legal custody while granting joint physical custody. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that each parent gets equal time with the child. Even if a parent is not granted physical custody of a child, though, he or she will typically be awarded visitation rights, unless the court finds that allowing visitation would be detrimental to the child. Our San Jose child custody attorneys can work to maximize your time with your child. In some cases, a court may grant one parent sole physical custody while granting joint legal custody. Alternatively, a court may grant both legal and physical custody solely to one parent. It is presumed, however, that granting parents joint custody of a child is in the child’s best interest. Thus, if a court declines to grant joint custody, it must set forth its reasons for the denial.Seek Guidance from a Family Law Attorney
It is critical for any parent who is faced with a custody action or who wishes to define his or her parental rights to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The family law attorneys at Daprile-Bell Family Law Offices possess the skills and resources needed to help parents strive for the best legal outcome available in a custody case. It is important to us to protect our clients’ health by preventing the spread of COVID-19, so we wear masks, provide outdoor seating on our front porch for people waiting for appointments, and regularly sterilize our common areas and offices. We are also available for no-contact consultations via Zoom, and we are careful to stagger any in-person consultations held at our offices. The child custody lawyers at our San Jose firm can be reached via our online form or at (408) 918-0920 to schedule a consultation.