Both parents have the right to custody their child, which is typically the court's preference. The idea is simple: each child and parent has the right to develop their relationship. Barring any serious issues like abuse or neglect, child custody is a right both parents have. Determining what that manifests as is another issue altogether.
At Compass Legal Group, APC, our child custody attorney in California will thoroughly review your case, listen to your concerns and preferences, and outline your best course of action. We know you have your child's best interests at heart. To that end, we will try to attain the best child custody arrangement for you and your child. Contact us online or at (805) 852-5141 to schedule a Free 30-minute Consultation.
What is Child Custody in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties?
When two parents are no longer together, one of the most important matters to be decided is who will have custody of their child. In most states, there are two different types of custody that the court must consider: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody is not related to whom the child lives with. Instead, the parent with legal custody has the legal right to make important life decisions for the child. For example, a parent with legal custody will decide where the child attends school and the type of healthcare they will receive. It is possible in some states for the parents to share legal custody.
Physical custody concerns where the child resides. It may be awarded solely to one parent, or it may be shared jointly between parents. Parents with joint custody will have the plan to determine who has the child and when.
When determining who to award child custody to, a court will consider what is in the child's best interest. Some of the factors the court will look at are:
- Who can provide a safe environment for the child
- Any evidence of abuse
- The child's relationship with each parent
If a matter affects the child, the court will likely consider it when awarding custody.
Parent Plans and Child Custody in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties
Once child custody has been determined, unless one parent has sole custody, most jurisdictions request the parties enter into a parenting plan. A parenting plan lays out what is expected of each parent to provide the child with the physical and mental stability they need to prosper. It can address everything from where a child lives to the religion they will be exposed to. A parent plan differs from a parent order in that a parent order is enforceable by the court. The parent plan is an agreement the parties reach together, often with the help of mediation.
Unfit Parents and Child Custody in California
When a court reviews a case and determines that a parent is unfit, it will likely award custody to another party, and the court may allow the unfit parent supervised visitation. The court may also order the unfit parent to undergo counseling and parenting classes if they want to continue to have a relationship with their child.
While it is not impossible in most jurisdictions for an unfit parent to later regain custody of their child, it is not an easy feat as they must prove to the court the issues that deemed them unfit have been completely resolved.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in California Today
If you face a child custody issue, ensure your rights are protected by hiring a lawyer with experience in child custody disagreements. Contact Compass Legal Group, APC in California, today via our online form or call us at (805) 852-5141.