The legal definition of child custody is the care, control and upkeep of a child, which a court may award to one of the parents after a divorce or separation proceeding. Unfortunately, in this country, custody battles are common. Many people fall in love and have kids, but for whatever reason the love doesn’t last, but now there is a child to raise. A parent’s job is to raise their child and provide for them at least the basic necessities such as a home, education, health care and a moral upbringing, be it religion or values. However, if there is a disagreement as to which parent gets the parental right to raise the child and make these decisions, or if government officials believe a parent is unfit to raise the child, the family courts or juvenile courts will intervene and determine who gets custody of the child.
At The Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, we have been dealing with custody cases for years. Our attorneys are some of the best family law attorneys in Thousands Oaks and Ventura County in general. We take pride in our superior track record when it comes to custody cases. My team of legal professionals rise to the occasion to make sure the child’s best interests are kept in mind when decisions are being made. I, myself, have a special place in my heart for custody cases, being the child of divorced parents. I truly understand the ins and outs of custody battles.
If the parents of the child are getting divorced, the custody arrangement becomes part of the divorce decree. The decree states with whom the child will live, the visitation arrangements and who is to provide financial support for the child. We want what is best for the child and would never put a child in a precarious situation. But at the same time, we do not want to deny any child access to a parent (unless there is a valid reason e.g. abuse). We weigh everyone options when strategizing a custody case.
If the parents of the child were never married, most states automatically award custody to the biological mother. If the father wants physical custody he has to take steps in order to have himself considered. Usually, the unwed father cannot win custody from a mother who is a good parent, but he may have priority over relatives, foster parents or strangers who want to adopt his child.
Custody cases don’t have to be vicious. Both parents want to act in the best interest of the child, and so do we. That is why we offer initial free consultations to evaluate your situation and come up with options that will not negatively impact the child. If you need a child custody attorney in Thousand Oaks, give The Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi today.
Please understand that both child support and child custody are court orders. However, they have considered two separate issues entirely. While it may be wrong for a parent not to pay child support, the other parent cannot deny the non-paying parent their court-ordered custody or visitation time.
If you have a problem receiving child support from the other parent, you need to go through the family court system for your recourse. Never take any action on your own. A qualified and experienced Thousand Oaks child custody attorney will walk you through this process.
You likely understand that there are two types of custody – physical and legal. However, they do not have to be the same. For example:
The family court judge will consider what is in the best interest of the child when determining both types of custody.
Actually, the preference of the child may be taken into consideration by the family court. Under California Family Code section 3042, a child who is 14 years or older has the option to tell the court what custody or visitation arrangements they would prefer. Under the code, a court may allow a child under the age of 14 to address the court if that is deemed appropriate.
This does not mean what the child requests will happen. The family court will look at the overall picture and do what is in the best interests of the child.
Grandparents are generally not going to get custody of a child if one of the parents is legally able to take custody. However, grandparents do have visitation rights in some circumstances. Under California law, a grandparent may request that the court grant visitation with the grandchild under certain circumstances:
We live in an age where our lives are broadcast online. Depending on what you have posted, your social media could be used against you. If you have made posts about drug use, heavy drinking, violence, or other questionable behavior, a judge may see this as a reason not to allow you physical custody.
Same-sex couples are supposed to have the same rights as opposite-sex couples when it comes to issues surrounding child custody and visitation. While this is the law, you cannot always control the personal bias of certain family court judges. It is vital to have an experienced Thousand Oaks child custody attorney by your side in these cases.