Comprehensive Solutions to Difficult Family Law Issues

Strong Bay Area Attorneys To Assist With Child Custody Disputes And The Best Interests Of The Child

In California, the “best interests of the child” standard is the guiding principle for resolving all custody disputes. The court will consider your child’s attachment to each parent and the kind of home each parent can provide. The wide range of factors may also relate to each parent’s personal life, such as substance abuse.

At the Law Offices of John A. Guthrie in Pleasanton and Danville, our attorneys understand all the factors that go into deciding tough child custody issues. We can develop a strategy for a parenting plan that maintains your child-parent relationship and remains workable into the future. If a plan is not carefully considered, it may require a return trip to court with a request to enforce visitation to modify the arrangements. We serve clients in Alameda County, Contra Costa County and throughout the Bay Area.

If necessary, we work with investigators and psychologists to establish important facts about a child’s emotional state. In other proceedings we work to uncover potential issues facing an ex-spouse, like mental health issues.

Frequent Questions About Child Custody And Child Visitation In California

Whether you are facing divorce, or have a child custody dispute as an unmarried parent, you likely have deep concerns about your future relationship with your children. You likely know that family law issues are very personal in nature — and no two families are the same. The dynamics between the parents, and each child may have unique facts and circumstances. That is also true in resolving child custody disputes in family court. Speaking with a child custody and visitation lawyer in a free consultation may allow you to understand how your circumstances align with the factors judges weigh in family court.

Below are a few general answers to common questions about child custody and visitation issues in California.

How often will I be able to see my children?

This is one of the most common questions and ties directly to that fear that you will not be able to continue to have a strong relationship. Generally, California law prefers that the parent-child relationship is maintained at some level. Many parents may share custody in an even 50/50 split. Unfortunately, a wide variety of individual circumstances may skew the custody arrangement widely one way or the other.

Each family court dispute is unique and there is no simple rubber-stamp resolution. The parties may seek to resolve any issue directly in negotiation or in mediation. The more contentious disputes may often involve a greater disparity in parenting time between the parents. The question in these cases may often be highly fact specific and cannot be answered situations in a general question posed online.

How will a custody arrangement affect the amount of a child support order?

The amount of time each parent has physical custody of the child is one of many factors that are used to determine child support. The California Child Support Guidelines provide the general framework for calculating child support. The time each parent has physical custody of the child in the custody arrangement is a strong factor in determining child support. It is not, however, the only factor. The income of each parent is also part of the California child support calculation. Even in a 50/50 split, a parent with a higher income may have a child support obligation.

What options are available to make sure that a former spouse complies with the visitation schedule in an existing court order?

There are several options available to California parents to enforce an existing child custody order. Law enforcement may assist in enforcing an order. You may also seek the assistance of a lawyer in any enforcement action. Contempt of court proceedings may be difficult for many to navigate alone. A contempt proceeding, however, is a rational option to help obtain compliance from a parent who chooses to ignore a child custody arrangement.

Is it possible to modify custody arrangements that aren’t working?

There are many reasons an existing order may become unworkable. Modifying an order when new circumstances arise is fairly common in California. Child custody modifications, however, are not freely given solely because a parent is not happy with the arrangement. A substantial new change in circumstances will help to define the reasonableness of a post-judgment modification.

What is the a difference between legal custody and physical custody in California?

Legal custody refers to who may have the authority to make important decisions in raising the children. This may include decisions regarding education, medical care, religion and a range of issues. Physical custody involves what many may think of as parenting time. Physical custody involves where the child is living under the custody arrangement.

Temporary Custody And Domestic Violence

If your spouse may be trying to gain an advantage in a temporary custody hearing with allegations of an incident of domestic violence, you need the assistance of a child custody lawyer who knows how to address these types of allegations in court. Similarly, if you are the victim of domestic violence, it is critical to seek the assistance of a strong domestic violence lawyer to help you obtain protection from the court for you and your children.

Alameda County Child Custody Lawyers Ready To Fight To Help You Resolve Your Family Law Dispute

We take the time to sit down with you to thoroughly discuss your concerns and your legal options. We are litigators with the experience in the courtroom to help you to obtain a meaningful solution in court. Schedule a free initial consultation at our Pleasanton or Danville office today by calling 925-271-4342 or sending us a message.