Rancho Cucamonga Child Custody Attorney
Child custody is a serious legal issue, and it is important that it is properly handled at the very beginning, as it may affect your and your child’s life and relationship in the future. Once there are court orders issued, you are obligated to follow the terms of the order. As a result, you will want to retain an agreement that meets your interests and goals as a parent.
Personalized and Thoughtful Guidance Informed by 25+ Years of Experience
The well-being of your children depends on what you do in your initial custody negotiation, so guidance from an experienced attorney is important. I have successfully helped countless numbers of parents with multiple different scenarios. For instance, sometimes the other parent doesn’t want to “share,” or other times perhaps the other parent is a danger to the child’s health or welfare. I understand that every case is unique, so I will sit down with you to discuss your personal goals and needs in your custody case, whether you seek legal guidance in your initial custody negotiation or in a petition for modification.
Types of Custody Orders in California
There are two kinds of child custody arrangements in California:
- Legal custody, which means who makes important legal decisions for the children (e.g., healthcare, education, welfare)
- Physical custody, which means who the children live with.
Both legal and physical custody can be joint (shared between both parents) or sole (granted to only one parent). Note that joint physical custody does not mean that the children must spend exactly half the time with each parent. In many cases, the children will actually spend a little more time with one parent (the “primary custodial parent”) than the other simply for practical reasons.
It is possible for the court to grant joint legal custody but sole physical custody. A parent who does not have physical custody usually at least has visitation rights with the children, though this will depend on whether the parent has a history of domestic violence that could be harmful to the children.
Protect your parental rights in your child custody negotiation with my firm. We can discuss your case personally and develop a strategy unique to your situation. Call (909) 317-3213 or schedule an initial consultation with me online today.
The Child’s Best Interests
Under California custody law, the court begins the custody evaluation by presuming that both parents are equally entitled to custody of the child. However, to make the final decision the court will consider what will be in the child’s best interests, which includes factors like:
- the child's health, safety, and welfare;
- the child’s age;
- the child’s ties to school, home, and their community;
- whether either parent has a history of abuse against the child or the other parent;
- the nature and amount of contact with both parents;
- the emotional ties between the parents and the child;
- the ability of the parents to care for the child;
- whether either parent has a history of illegal use of controlled substances, alcohol, or prescribed medications; and
- any other factor the court deems relevant.
Modifying an Order
Naturally, the circumstances that existed during the time of the initial order may change over time. In such a case, a parent can return to court to modify an existing custody arrangement based on a “change of circumstances.” Note that the initial language in the judgment will have a bearing on the “burden of proof” necessary to modify custody.
As your and your child’s lives expand and grow with new jobs, partners, friends, or schools, the current custody order may no longer serve the child's best interest. I can help you build a strong case for modification and negotiate a better arrangement for you and your child. The court prefers stability for children, so they will likely only approve a modification if the reason is significant enough to improve the child’s life.
Ms. Ferrante has been practicing family law and probate which includes the subject matters highlighted in this website, for over 25 years in the same geographical area. This has allowed her to develop a familiarity with the respective judges and a rapport with court staff. This is important for the ease and successful handling of your case.Learn More
“What other attorneys did not accomplish in one year, Christina did in 90 days! I am now happily living in my home again which is 100% mine as well as owning 100% of my business.”- Dr. Steve